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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Wednesday, August 12

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Altidore, Mings, Richards, and Scott talk racism in football

Tottenham Hotspur Unveil New Signing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Hi, all!

Hope you’ve celebrated making a new signing. I find that we’re still not far removed enough from the no signings summer to not appreciate signings on a certain level.

Ramble of the Day

Over the last few weeks, I’ve found a few different videos from Black players on facing racism in football. I’ll start with one from The Players’ Tribune about Jozy Altidore facing racism while playing in the Netherlands.

Altidore shared that the referee asked him how he felt after he was on the receiving end of monkey chants from opposing fans. He didn’t tell the referee to stop the game, but the referee did eventually stop the game because as Altidore says at the end of the video, “that’s how bad it was.” It’s a very quick telling of the story, but obviously it’s a representation of extreme forms of discrimination that Black players experience too frequently.

In a video for UEFA, Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings also shared his personal experiences about racism on the pitch and on social media, talking about the range of feelings he has when he experiences racism in different places.

It’s another quick video, but Mings covers a lot. I’d like to point out his opening statement: “Even at the start of my football career, there weren’t so many news outlets or media stories about racism and I’m not so sure that’s because it wasn’t happening. People are now calling for change and people to actually start doing something about it.” Mings only began playing professionally eight years ago, which definitely spotlights the current shifting tide but also notes the work that needs to be done because organizations have been slow to recognize racism. Mings later suggests that social media platforms need to take initiative because to him, social media abuse “feels a little bit more personal.”

Finally, I’ll share CBS’s conversation about racism before Saturday’s Champions League matches, a conversation led by Micah Richards and Alex Scott.

Richards and Scott also discussed facing racism as players, with Richards saying that people would sweep incidents under the rug when it happened to him. Scott had a similar story, in part related to her background as a multiracial woman:

That’s a strong thing for parents as well. My mum’s White and growing up, she actually took abuse from having two Black kids and actually when we were getting it, she didn’t know how to have the conversation about it with us, so it was easy to kind of just sweep it under the carpet. We don’t talk about it, it never happened but then actually, I didn’t know how to deal with things when I was receiving that in my football career.

These are all stories from footballers, but in the end they share a number of the nuances about experiencing racism. The experiences can be so bad a referee stops a game, and can feel personal, but they’re all the result of other people not responding with strong support of those on the receiving end and strong condemnation of those committing acts of racism. Hearing and understanding their experiences is vital to our collective understanding, but also ends a pattern that many have explicitly mentioned of providing a casual response to something as large, hurtful, and poisonous as racism.

I’d encourage you to watch the videos in your own time — the whole set should take you less than ten minutes — to take away the many things worth listening to.

Links of the Day

Coronavirus:

Morocco will launch two tiers of professional women’s football next year, along with youth competitions.

David Squires covers the return of the Champions League in his latest cartoon.

Transfer updates: Leeds signed Charlie Allen from Linfield; Lille signed Jonathan David from Gent

A longer read: former Hoddler-in-Chief Vincent Ricco started a newsletter called The Hiatus, and his introductory piece is about being a Tottenham supporter during the José Mourinho era, finding a break from our regular grinds, and listening to matches on the radio