What Privilege Sounds Like FIFA Edition Part II: The Emdiggening

Whoo. As I reported yesterday, FIFA President Sepp Blatter gave his rich white man's opinion on racism in football; in short, his opinion was that there wasn't any, and anyway racist abuse was understandable in the heat of the game, and that players should shake hands and forget the "foul play" in the game at the end.

Understandably, there has been a LOT of unhappiness about this. One of the incidents which led to Blatter's astonishing denial of reality was Chelsea player and former England captain John Terry's racist abuse of Queen's Park Rangers' Anton Ferdinand (who is Black) during a game recently. Caught on camera, Terry has roundly denied what he was filmed doing. Of course.

Anton's older brother Rio, who also plays for England (as well as Manchester United), tweeted in disbelief:
@SeppBlatter your comments on racism are so condescending its almost laughable. If fans shout racist chants but shake our hands is that ok?
Blatter couldn't let that stand without taking up his shovel, so he responded with a tweet showing (no, I'm really not kidding) a picture of himself with South African minister Tokyo Sexwale, who is (anyone surprised?) Black, and repeated how much effort he puts into anti-discrimination.

Ferdinand again:
@SeppBlatter to say what you said about racism in football spoke volumes of your ignorance to the subject.
Elsewhere, the head of England's* Professional Footballers' Association, the union for players, has called for Blatter's resignation over this (and I heartily agree).

Blatter has issued another "clarification" in which he said he was misunderstood, then basically repeated his comments from the first interview. I think what he's clarified is that he doesn't have a fucking clue, and never did. His thesis is that because there was a World Cup in Africa this er, last summer, racism is now over! Woohoo! He's very disappointed that we didn't all get the message.

So, here's me recommending action. FIFA has a contact form here, in English (French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and Arabic are also available). Use it to let them know what you think of the President's racist bullshit, and why he should step down, immediately.

* I say "England" rather than Britain because in football, the four "Home Countries" have a special status, with each (Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England) having one of the eight votes on the FIFA ruling committee (I can't remember the details of what it's called, but it's the ultimate authority in football). Also, they each maintain a separate league and national team.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus