Black is Black, What’s The Colour of a Player’s Skin Got to Do with Football?

Just watched the news… The Dutch team at Euro 2012 are up in arms after Polish ‘fans’ made monkey chants at Holland’s black players. Local journalists claimed not to have heard anything. Krakow newspaper offices must be very noisy places to make them so deaf . Van Bommel, Holland’s captain, said that the journos should open their ears. It’s not their ears they need to open – it’s their minds. The Dutch captain has been reported as saying he would lead his team off if this occurred during a match. I sincerely hope he does. Platini’s statements on the subject have been pusillanimous in the extreme. Beautiful footballer, weak character. Still, since it’s a UEFA tournament we’re all spared the comments of Sepp Blatter, who might say something as racist as the Polish Neo-Nazis themselves. And what of Spain? It’s to be hoped there’s no repetition of Aragones’ famous ‘motivation’ of Reyes prior to Spain’s 2004 game against France, when he had this to say about Reyes’ then Arsenal team-mate, Thierry Henry: “ Tell that negro de mierda that you are much better than him. Don’t hold back, tell him. Tell him from me. You have to believe in yourself, you’re better than that negro de mierda. ” Spain, hopefully, has moved on. Germany has, England has and so have most civilised countries of the world. Come on, Ukraine and Poland, grow up and kick racism out of society, not just football.

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