The racism at the EM is not an English problem. In other countries, too, players are exposed to nasty insults and degradation if they fail. Football is a catalyst for everything that is deeply rooted in society. From Micky Beisenherz
Today, when the first Italians are slowly sobering up again and our everyday life is no longer structured by game plans, there is still that furry taste in the mouth. What did we actually experience on Sunday evening?
The end of a soccer tournament that gave so much joy to many because with the return of the fans, the emotions were finally back in the beloved game. The full ranks as a mirror of our soul, a reflection of our own self-indulgence. That amazing feeling when we are actually completely strangers hitting a post, setting a clean tackle, and starting to dribble. We jump up, scream, cheer.
Micky Beisenherz: Sorry, I’m private here
My name is Micky Beisenherz. I’m a world star in Castrop-Rauxel. I have to pay for everything myself elsewhere. I am a multimedia
(In) grocery store. Author (Extra3, jungle camp), presenter (ZDF, NDR, ProSieben, ntv), podcast host (‘Apocalypse and filter coffee’), occasional cartoonist. There are things that I notice. Sometimes even get upset. And since the impulse control is constantly jammed, they have to get out. My religious symbol is the crosshair. The razor blade is my dance floor. And just now my feet are itching again.
Football is a vacation from one’s own sanity. We bathe in irrational feelings and celebrate things that are basically none of our business. As a different version of ourselves. What that looks like in the event of failure, we had to see on Sunday.
Shortly after England had lost the long-awaited trophy so unhappy on penalties that they had already believed so safe, the whole frustration was discharged: With Saka, Sancho or Rashford, three very young men failed, for whom the pressure and the burden of responsibility were simply too much and who then found themselves exposed to an almost unprecedented wave of hatred and racist hostility.
Because these three are not only miss-shooters, but also dark-skinned – and for a frightening number of people this is reason enough to justify their hatred on them. As if it wasn’t the deep desire of the three to win the cup for their country. Or as the hapless Marcus Rashford recently wrote in a message: ‘I can listen to criticism of my performance all day. The penalty wasn’t good enough, it should have gone in, but I’ll never apologize for who I am or where I’m from. ‘
Children in the opponent’s shirt were beaten up
And at the beginning of the tournament it was said contemptuously that this kneeling against racism was a kind of fashionable fad of neglected hipsters. It’s sad, it’s bitter to see what broke out on Sunday evening. In the beginning you still liked to amuse yourself about the orcs, who roared the rest of their brains out of their throats with yellow teeth, bald heads and faded tattoos on their pelvic abdominal ranks, carrying on with their title, now you are only shocked: Barriers were broken, children in jerseys beaten up by the opponent, the women at home were no longer safe from the frustrated husband’s anger – and just these hateful derailments against the three missiles.
So bad that national coach Southgate, Prince William or Boris Johnson felt it was their duty to condemn it. Well, that’s the way they are, the English, what. And hasn’t the Prime Minister himself given his Brexitism a real tinder on this nationalism? Of course, it’s more pleasant to pretend what we had to experience is something that we, like a mutant, could safely leave on the island.
But doesn’t the final opponent Italy also have a massive racism problem in their stadiums? Check with Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku. Can the German fan lean back and relax and point the finger at the crazy British, because that has nothing to do with us? Of course not. Here, too, national players were exposed to bad insults and degradation in the event of failure. The ‘German heroes’ were quickly back to ‘the Pole’, ‘the Black’ or ‘the Turk who is supposed to sing the hymn’. Not to mention what’s going on in the fan scenes between Chemnitz and Dortmund or the WhatsApp chats in various youth departments.
It’s pathetic – and affects us all
Football is a catalyst for everything that is deeply rooted in society. As exuberant and childlike the joy in triumph, so pathetic the failures as soon as the disappointment needs someone to blame. Immediately fall back on the lowest possible level of insult. For some this is measured along the salary threshold – ‘shit millionaires’ – while for others the skin color or sexual orientation is enough to excessively live out the inner caste system.
It’s pathetic. And affects us all.
So we would do well to check ourselves regularly to see where our resentments lie dormant – and to admonish each other so as not to degenerate into the pathetic assholes we saw at Wembley on Sunday. In the subway, in roundtables (televised), or in football stadiums, this is sometimes a little more tedious than just changing your profile picture on Twitter, but it’s worth it. At least I don’t want to see the national coach publicly ashamed of the German fans. We were there in 1998.
‘I’m Marcus Rashford, 23 years old, a black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else, then I have this. ‘ South Manchester is also Gelsenkirchen, Berlin-Neukölln or Frankfurt.