February 8, 2005


Black and White and Dread All Over (Grahame L. Jones and Lisa Dillman, February 8, 2005, LA Times)

Two months ago, Angel Torres, president of the Spanish soccer club Getafe, told a radio station that he wanted his white players to blacken their faces for the team's next home game as a show of solidarity against racism — an idea he quickly withdrew.

In a subtler approach, Dutch players will abandon their traditional orange shirts for jerseys with black and white halves, to be worn with black shorts and white socks, when they face England on Wednesday. The English, agreeing to a change in their national uniform for the first time in 133 years, will wear a special message and badge.

These actions reflect the varied, if occasionally clumsy, ways European soccer is dealing with an apparent upsurge in racism, which experts say poses the most serious threat to the sport since weapon-wielding hooligans terrorized players and fans in the 1980s.

Hating someone for their race is foolish; you should hate them for playing soccer.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 8, 2005 10:45 AM

All the teams should wear plain black uniforms. No white at all. How about only one goal net? That way no one knows who scored, no one cares, and no one is offended. Oops, of course someone will be offended. A group probably. An activist group. Silly me.

Posted by: Tom Wall at February 8, 2005 11:37 AM

These measures will backfire and fire up the
mass of fans in an unintended way.

Posted by: J.H. at February 8, 2005 12:00 PM

Why don't we have these sorts of problems in baseball and real football? Maybe its because the fans have something better to do like follow the game?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 8, 2005 12:38 PM

Plain black uniforms? Wouldn't that be the German and Italian teams on "1940s throwback" weekend? (The French would play in all white, or chicken yellow.)

Posted by: Mike Morley at February 8, 2005 1:01 PM

The Euros are going stark raving mad. Erase all history is their only answer to everything. Here's an interesting link Barry Meislin sent me.

Posted by: Peter B at February 8, 2005 2:54 PM

This reminds me of a really bad Star Trek episode.

Posted by: jd watson at February 8, 2005 5:41 PM

There is a story, probably apocryphal but still sweet, about Pee Wee Reese. Supposedly one of Jackie Robinson's many anonymous death threats was worded to the effect that "number forty-two had better watch out." Why don't we all wear 42 then, said Reese. That way they won't know who to shoot.

Posted by: joe shropshire at February 8, 2005 6:05 PM