From NRO’s Corner:
Yesterday the national soccer teams of England and Spain met in Madrid. England has several black players. Throughout the match the Spanish fans in, full voice and in vast numbers, made monkey noises every time a black player on the English team touched the ball. To those not familiar with European soccer this is a shock but the conduct is quite common in many cities in Europe during matches. It is so common that the European Football Association has a campaign in place to try and stop the practice. If you take a look at today’s Guardian it has several accounts of the racist conduct during the match.
How tiresome is it to hear the constant refrain that the Euros are so much more enlightened than us Americans on issue such as race etc.? In practice we know the truth is far different. Can you imagine the conduct I described above taking place at an American sporting event? Can you imagine the mentality of thousands of people in a European capital city that they felt so free to express their racism so overtly? Next time you hear a Euro begin a lecture hit him or her (figuratively, of course) with the facts surrounding racist behavior of Euros on any given Sat. or Sun. in their capital cities. The “red state rubes” they love to malign would never tolerate the racism that is a common part of their national pastimes.
Excellent point, one I should have made long ago. Arsenal is commonly a victim of this when playing away games in the Champions League, with captain Patrick Viera (a black Frenchman), top scorer Thierry Henry (also a black Frenchman) and defensive stalwarts Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole (both black Englishmen). It is less of a problem in England and Italy (other than Lazio, but that’s a different issue altogether), than it used to be, but it is still a big problem in Spain, Turkey, Germany and other European countries.