Racist morons had themselves one hell of a weekend in Italy. On the same day that Mario Balotelli was racially abused by Hellas Verona ultras, a parent yelled racial slurs at a 10-year-old black player during a youth soccer game. As is the case with most of these incidents, the referee and the team with the racist parent did nothing.
The player finished the match, then told his coaches what happened afterward. Thankfully, his club and the opposing club are supporting him and have apparently taken the incident seriously.
But unfortunately, the way they’ve chosen to show their support is ... uhh. Well.
[Deep breath, heavy sigh]
They’re gonna have all the white kids wear blackface.
“They informed me that they have started the investigation and that they are available to do with us a symbolic gesture against racism, the two teams will meet again next time, this time for the Juniores category, that is 17/18 years old, and all the players will take the field with their faces painted black. Other Brianza clubs will also do that, they learned about the episode and want to show solidarity.“
YIKES. I have some questions.
1. I know blackface doesn’t have the same connotations in Europe as the United States, but people still know it’s racist, right? It was invented to mock black people. It’s still used, all over the world, to make fun of black people. Isn’t this common knowledge?
2. Did anyone think to ask a black person if this was a good idea? And I don’t mean the child that was racially abused or anyone who knows him personally, I mean a black grown-up with no connection to the incident. I’m pretty sure they would have told you this idea is outrageously bad.
3. Surely there must be one parent of a player on these teams who does not want there to be a photo of their child in blackface on the internet forever? Hopefully they can intervene to stop a couple dozen teens from doing a racism.
4. Are we going to find out in a week that this story originated from the Italian version of The Onion? It seems too stupid to be real.
Anyway, a PSA: Don’t wear blackface, ever, for any reason. Even if you think you’re doing it to show support for a black person or group of black people. It’s unequivocally racist.