I would love to write another article about the pageantry of Euro 2012. It would be good for me to write about how the Netherlands stunk up the joint in Group B. The World-Cup runner-ups put up a big fat donut in terms of points in the Group of Death. It would be good to talk about how Ronaldo’s 2 goals catapulted the Portugese past the group stage. However, I believe that it is time to bring exposure to the elephant in the room. It is unfortunate that I have to discuss this as an element within a tournament as prestigious as Euro 2012. Nevertheless, it saddens me to say that racism is prevalent in the Euro 2012 tournament.
Exhibit A, is the racism being directed by Mario Balotelli by both Croatian and Spanish fans. Croatian fans greeted Mario Balotelli with monkey chants and displayed flags that represented political groups that leaned to the extreme right of the political spectrum. Bananas were reportedly thrown onto the field in Balotelli’s direction. The chants were magnified when he was substituted at the end of the first half. It was also reported that some Spanish fans had sang derogatory chants aimed at Mario Balotelli during the Spain vs. Italy match on June 10th. Fortunately, it took the good-hearted nature of other Spanish fans to bring the issue to light. Russian fans have joined in the racist chants. They made racist chants towards Theodor Gebre Selassie of the Czech Republic.
Some fans have resorted to this racial abuse while teams have trained for Euro 2012. Black members of the Dutch National Team had to go over to the other end of the field to get away from fans who were yelling monkey chants.
It may be an inconvenience to others to play the race card. In situations such as these, the race card is the only card left to play. It is very sad that this great event has been sullied somewhat by the ugliness of people’s hearts.