PSG and Basaksehir players united against racism
Paris Saint-Germain and Basaksehir players united against disgraceful racism by stomping off the pitch in a last Uefa group stages match in Parc des Princes, Paris.
As the whole world struggles and try to get through a deadly pandemic Covid-19, there is also another continuously contemptible pandemic the sport world face and try to get through it, and that pandemic is; RACISM. This pandemic continues to haunt society, and that includes sport.
Firstly, I noted with great disgust when Millwall fans booed players taking the knee in a Championship match against Derby last weekend, it was nauseating. Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players paved the way when they protested racism by knelling in 2017.
Then, on Tuesday in Uefa match between PSG and Basaksehir, Romanian fourth official, Sébastien Coltescu was clearly heard saying racial slur “Negru” to Basaksehir’s assistant coach, Pierre Webo. In 2020 this is what black people in sport still endure, but what I admired the most is the immediate reaction(they shouldn’t be subjected to this by the way) from Basaksehir players and technical team, particularly former Chelsea star Demba Ba who was heard making a substantiated argument about racial profiling with the official, after the officially shamelessly said it’s not racist but said that in Romania “Negru” means black, but Ba furiously responded saying: “You never say ‘this white guy,’ you say ‘this guy’, so why when you’re mentioning him… listen to me… why when you mention a black guy, why do you say ‘this black guy’.”
Basaksehir players resorted to abandoning the match and were quickly followed by PSG players in the 14th minute. It’s hard being a black person in sport, it really is, it was horrifying seeing Webo who was visibly and rightfully hurt by the slur shedding a tear, his only fault was being a black man. It’s ironic how they would never refer to a white person by ‘That white person’, but so easy when it’s a black person.
It’s dreadful to keep on watching racism event like these. But also, the braveness by PSG players in solidarity with Basaksehir should be applauded, actually it should always be like that whenever there’s racist remarks or display in football.
Now we’re waiting for Uefa’s response as investigation pends, but honestly, it is either they sack the blatantly loathsome Coltescu or he voluntarily step down. It’s time issues pertaining race in sport are of paramount.