Once again, that’s forward Angela Addison at the top today.
Ramble of the Day
Only a few days removed from discussions about racism in football, yesterday was another day that thrust those conversations into the spotlight. It remains infuriating that people continue to be on the receiving end of racist abuse; at least, though, large groups of people in this sport continue to put in the effort to advance these conversations and do what they can to eradicate racism.
In a year where athletes have again shown what they can do with their platforms, footballers continued adding to the list of examples. I start with Queens Park Rangers goalscorer Ilias Chair and teammate Bright Osayi-Samuel because they demonstrated the power of a symbol with their goal celebration. The team kneeled for the first time in months, after the club’s director of football Les Ferdinand felt it was little more than “good PR,” and therefore provided little incentive for organizations to do more. It’s pretty clear why QPR made the change yesterday — it was an obvious rejection of racism, as the kneel and the fist have been for quite some time.
As a celebration facing Millwall supporters who as a group just days ago booed the same gesture, it made for a powerful response. The incident will become something of the past one day, but it can’t yet; it is important to incorporate anti-racism stances in as many ways as possible, and these players understood that completely.
Then, of course, there was the incident during Paris Saint-Germain-İstanbul Başakşehir where the fourth official was heard directing racist abuse towards assistant coach Pierre Webó.
Watching and hearing this unfold, I felt that the PSG and Başakşehir set a standard: they first criticized the referee for the racist abuse they heard, and then both teams promptly walked off the pitch. Above all, I’m glad the PSG players did not hesitate in their support of their counterparts at Başakşehir, which only strengthens the Başakşehir cause and clearly the collective interest to eradicate racism. It was a no tolerance policy in action, and clearly demonstrated what uncomplicated solidarity looks like and means.
These are just the early steps of anti-racist action. In the case of PSG-Başakşehir particularly, I find it worth commenting on the fact that someone who holds the responsibility of judging the game as a referee was the one who committed an act of racism. The many with governing power, from an in-game level as referees to the people running leagues and federations, are the ones who need to follow up. They’ve also been the one who have disappointed the most in this category.
It’s become a theme this year, though, to watch athletes lead the way and it remains a truly great thing. Here’s hoping those with power follow their lead.
Links of the Day
Paris Saint-Germain-İstanbul Başakşehir will resume today from the 14th minute without the fourth official who racially abused Başakşehir assistant Pierre Webó.
Villa San Carlos’ Mara Gomez became the first openly transgender woman to play football in Argentina.
Leeds’ Robin Koch will be out indefinitely after receiving knee surgery.
Qatar will receive a guest spot during UEFA’s 2022 World Cup qualifying tournament.
David Squires criticizes Millwall fans who booed their players taking a knee in his latest cartoon.
A longer read: Suzanne Wrack on South Sudan’s plan to grow women’s football, hoping to increase participation by 70% in four years for The Guardian