Wurzburger Kickers’ defender Leroy Kwadwo from Ghana was playing against Preussen Munster when he faced racial slurs. The Munster fan made monkey noises towards Kwadwo in the late stages of the game. Fellow fans of Munster were quick to act. They identified the fan and he was then ejected from the game. During this time, the fans in the stadium were chanting “Nazis out”. The fan who made the racist slurs was later arrested.
Following the chanting, Kwadwo received a standing ovation from a number of fans. He also received support from players, coaches and referees alike.
The Munster club spoke up after the game firstly to apologize to Kwadwo they then expressed their repulsiveness in regard of the monkey noises, stating that has no place within the sport. They continued to explain how impressed they were with the response of all the spectators.
Kwadwo also spoke out after the incident:
“This just makes me sad, even though I have a different skin color, I was born here in this wonderful country that has given me and my family so much and made things possible. I am one of you, I live here and I’m able to live out my calling and passion as a professional Würzburger Kickers player. So something like yesterday just makes me sad and angry, because everyone should know: Racism doesn’t belong in OUR world. We all have the opportunity to tackle it and prevent the whole thing from happening.”
In the news today, many stories can still be found reporting on racism in sports. In a study done by Long in 2000, the author argued that racism in sport can be traced back to people who remain in denial that it exists. In order to make a difference and eliminate it from sport, it requires people to take a stand. The spectators at this game did exactly that. They have led by example and hopefully others will follow. If everyone intervened when they witness racist words or actions, the world would be that much closer to eliminating it from sport.