Monkey chants, a Confederate flag, “White Lives Matter” banners and even a call for the release of the policeman charged with the death of George Floyd have all been seen at football grounds in Europe over the past month.
Fans of second division Czech side Zbrojovka Brno added a Confederate flag to their “Ultras Lives Matter” banner, while in Ukraine, second-tier FC Minaj fans went one step further when they revealed a “Free Derek Chauvin” message.
The latest “White Lives Matter” banner showed up at Liberec stadium on Wednesday evening (July 1) during the final game in the Czech MOL Cup.
V sektoru fans Sparty se po začátku utkání opět objevil kontroverzní transparent s nápisem White Lives Matter pic.twitter.com/1JKGCE6TSG
— Michael Durčák (@durcak_michael) July 1, 2020
The spread of such a message is a cause of concern for anti-racism campaigners and researchers, who say racism in football has “been taken to a new level” and the sport is being used “as a tool to propagate.”
This is the second episode in the last few weeks. On June 18, Sparta Prague fans directed monkey chants towards another black Viktoria Plzen player Joel Ngandu Kayamba, who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Sparta ultras later released a statement condemning their own club’s involvement in the Black Lives Matter campaign.
Good feeling to progress to Cup Final @ACSparta_CZ but sad to hear monkey chants during the game. Sport has no color #onesport #onepeople. We are all human beings!! #NoToRacism. 💙💛❤️. Lets create a better future for the younger generation and enjoy the beautiful game.
— Costa Nhamoinesu (@costyy26) June 18, 2020