Mia san “Reds against Racism”!
Just last week, our author Katrin wrote in an article about Leon Goretzka that we need “their voices, their indignation and their loud support” in the fight against racism. “Theirs” referred not only to FC Bayern, but to football as a whole. The power of the clubs and associations is great enough to decisively contribute to one of the greatest challenges of our time: the fight for a tolerant and open society.
Blogger Christian Nandelstädt states on Twitter that FC Bayern did not consider it necessary to take a clear position on this matter as late as 2018, because, according to the club, everyone knew what they stood for. In 2019, however, there seemed to have been a rethink. During the club’s summer tour of the US, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge visited the Holocaust Museum in the USA, and said: “Mia san colorful!”
Now, on Thursday 5 March 2020, the anti-racism campaign “Reds against Racism” was launched. 17 statements of 17 different people at Bayern have been released on the homepage. Women, men, high-ranking club officials, football players, basketball players, People of Color and whites – FC Bayern shows that it stands for diversity, tolerance and an open society. Even if reading the statements suggests that some of the contributors must have been living in a bubble that has shielded them from the everyday racism in our society over the past decades.
Nevertheless, the club finally appears to be accepting the responsibility it bears in the fight against racism. There has not been one such a clear, unequivocal and significant statement before despite many smaller actions the club has taken. In the new issue of the club magazine “Säbener 51”, a whole 16 pages are dedicated to the club’s commitment against prejudice and racism.
It is also important not to conflate this campaign with the events of last weekend, which we have critically discussed in other articles. The preparations for “Reds against Racism” were already underway by then. Nor should this commitment be lumped together with Bayern’s connections to Qatar. The criticism of the latter is important and should under no circumstances be brushed aside by the former. But it can exist alongside the club’s so important commitment against racism and should not diminish its importance.
We at Miasanrot say: “Chapeau, FC Bayern” and we wish that the club stay the course and maintain the high level of engagement they have reached now. The constant reminder that the majority of our society does not tolerate racism, prejudice, and discrimination based on characteristics over which one has no control is a considerable part of the responsibility that FC Bayern bears as one of the world’s biggest clubs. In this case, they have fulfilled this responsibility in an exemplary fashion. Mia san “Reds against Racism”!