News & Politics

German Soccer Team Kneels in Solidarity with NFL

Players of Berlin kneel down prior to the German Bundesliga soccer match between Hertha BSC Berlin and FC Schalke 04 in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

The German soccer team Hertha Berlin linked arms and knelt before their match with Schalke as a show of solidarity with NFL players.

This appeared on the team’s Twitter account.

New York Times:

Hertha’s starting lineup linked arms and took a knee on the soccer field, while Pal Dardai’s coaching staff, General Manager Michael Preetz, club officials and substitutes took a knee off it before playing Schalke.

The club and forward Salomon Kalou also voiced their support on the social media network Twitter.

“We wanted to make a stand against racism,” Hertha’s captain, Per Skjelbred, said after the team’s 2-0 defeat.

The action was intended to show solidarity with N.F.L. players who have been protesting police treatment of blacks and social injustice in the United States by kneeling, sitting or locking arms through the national anthem before games.

Last year, Colin Kaepernick started the movement, which has been harshly criticized by President Trump.

“We’re no longer living in the 18th century but in the 21st century,” Hertha defender Sebastian Langkamp told Sky TV at halftime. “There are some people, however, who are not that far ideologically yet. If we can give some lessons there with that, then that’s good.”

German soccer has had problems in the past with fans screaming racial slurs at African players who play in the Bundesliga and chanting Nazi slogans. It’s not as bad in Germany as it is in other countries where black players have been brought to tears by fans serenading them with racist chants and slogans.

But Germany is so determinedly and self-consciously tolerant that it’s not surprising they would find kneeling an appealing means of virtue signalling. Of course, they’re not protesting for “social justice” in Germany — only the U.S.

The nation that just a few short decades ago slavishly supported a fascist who promised to rid the country of Jews and racial minorities is hardly in a position to take a knee to promote social justice. In fact, rather than kneel, they should prostrate themselves while  begging for the world’s forgiveness for deliberately starting a war that murdered 80 million people.

Yes, but it was sooooo long ago, that we’ve all forgotten, haven’t we? Well, all except the dwindling number of victims of Nazi atrocities. I daresay they will never forget, nor will they forgive.

But enough of us have moved on so that Germans are allowed to lecture the U.S. on tolerance and diversity. My, oh my — how the world has changed.