There were astonishing scenes in the German third tier on the weekend when a player was racially abused and the fans in the ground came together to denounce the racism with chants of, “Nazis out”.
Ghanaian-German footballer Leroy Kwadwo, the defender for the Würzburger Kickers, was the victim of the abuse. In the game against Preußen Munster on Sunday, supporters of the visiting team identified the man responsible and he was removed from the ground.
As opposition players embraced Kwadwo, the fans around the ground chanted “Nazis out” in unison.
In a statement posted online, Kwado said:
I have a different skin colour, but I was born here, in this wonderful country that gave me so much and made things possible for me and my family. I am one of you, I live here and can live my vocation and passion as a professional player with Würzburger Kickers. Something like yesterday just makes me sad and angry because everyone has to know. Racism doesn’t belong in our world. We all have the opportunity to tackle it and prevent it from happening.
In contrast, in Portugal on the weekend, FC Porto striker Moussa Marega was seemingly held back by teammates and opponents as he attempted to leave the pitch after suffering racist abuse from fans.
The actions of the players involved have been widely criticised online.
Racism needs to be stamped out of the game and public life. But until it is, the victims should be the ones who get to decide the appropriate response.