Category Archives: Racism

German Nationalism Courtesy of Football

The 20th century was a wicked roller coaster ride for Germany. Two World Wars, each spawned by high levels of nationalism, both resulted in German defeat. In the course of less than fifty years, Germany’s territory, economy, and politics were reduced to rubble, rebuilt, and then subsequently destroyed multiple times. Post World War II, the… Read More »

Invisible Men? Racism in Honduran Soccer

* This article is cross-posted with the blog ¿Opio del pueblo? During the Mexico-Trinidad/Tobago Gold Cup quarterfinal the other night, I was part of an engaging twitter discussion about racism in CONCACAF soccer that centered around these posts: It has struck me how much blatant racism you see around #GoldCup chat sites/twitter directed at Caribbean… Read More »

The Blood of the Impure

This Post was originally published at Football is a Country. My thanks to them for permission to cross-post. The French national anthem, La Marseillaise, is, if you think about it, a pretty nasty song. It dreams, in one of its more memorable verses, that the “blood of the impure” will “irrigate our fields.” It’s a… Read More »

The Hijab on the Pitch

(Article cross-posted from “Muslim Feminisms” forum at The Feminist Wire) Members of the Iranian National Women’s Football team (Source: FIFPro)   On Friday, July 6, the French Football Federation announced that it would ban the wearing of hijab during all organized competitions held in France. The Federation declared that in doing so it was fulfilling… Read More »

Mario Balotelli and the New Europe

During international football competitions like the European Cup, eleven players briefly become their country, for a time, on the pitch. A nation is a difficult thing to grasp: unpalpable, mythic, flighty. Historians might labor away to define the precise contours of a country’s culture and institutions, and even sometimes attempt to delineate its soul, while… Read More »

What Would Thuram Do?

In 1996, after France narrowly defeating Bulgaria to move on from the group stages of the European Cup competition, the French defender Marcel Desailly made a striking accusation during a press conference. Hristo Stoichkov, the star Bulgarian striker, had racially abused him during the game. “Hey Desailly, do you know that little kids are dying… Read More »

Why English Football Will Adopt the NFL’s Rooney Rule

Early last month, senior executives from the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), the League Managers’ Association, the Football Association (FA), the Football League and the Premier League met with Cyrus Mehri, an American lawyer who, along with the late Johnnie Cochran and a labor economist, Janice Madden, drafted and successfully petitioned the National Football League (NFL)… Read More »

Thuram, Blanc, Zidane

With a rapidity uncharacteristic of the French state, the FFF racism scandal has already run it’s predictable course: from outrage to self-exoneration. Yesterday, the French minister of sport Chantal Jouanno announced that no laws had been broken and therefore no specific legal or administrative action needed to take place. The argument was that, while the… Read More »

Heroes?

The last few days have offered some new and crucial details in the story of racism at the French Football Federation. The initial reaction by those implicated, including Laurent Blanc, was to deny that they had said what Mediapart accused them of saying. But they rapidly backtracked, perhaps because they had realized that in fact… Read More »

Was that an Apology?

The French Football Federation has issued a communiqué by Laurent Blanc in response to the allegations published last week by Mediapart about the existence of a plan to limit the numbers of “black and Arab” football players within the national youth system. It’s a rather strange statement. Blanc, who initially issued a blanket denial about… Read More »