Super Lig Players Comment on Racism
Trabzonspor’s has been the target for racism in the Super Lig. He was recently abused by Fenerbahce fans in the team’s win over the latter club. The midfielder has filed a criminal complaint against the team.
The team is in full support with Mikel’s fight against racism. Trabzonspor condemns the racist abuse that their player has received from Fenerbahce fans and vows to take the necessary action for their player’s safety.
'We condemn the racist attacks against our player Obi Mikel after the match against Fenerbahce and we bring to the public attention that a criminal complaint has been filed against the assailants’, said the team in its social media accounts. ‘Racism is a refuge for helpless and ignorant people. Our player, Obi Mikel, condemns the racist attacks after the Fenerbahce match. We inform the public that we have filed a criminal complaint against the culprits’.
Joao Pereira, Mikel’s teammate and close friend, says that the incident was very disappointing and that racism has no place in sports.
'It is sad and unacceptable that in 2020 we're still facing acts of racism and disrespect like this’, said Pereira. 'Football is much bigger than the little people behind these unfortunate acts’.
Former Premier League stars Didier Drogba and Emmanuel Eboue also received ‘monkey’ chants from Fenerbahce supporters back when they played for Galatasaray in 2013. Bananas were pictured being brandished at the stands of the stadium.
‘You call me monkey but you cried when Chelsea beat Fenerbahce in 2008’, Drogba took his thoughts to social media. ‘You called me monkey but you jumped in front of your screen when I won the Champions League. You called me monkey but you got mad when I became a champion with Galatasaray and the saddest thing is you called me monkey and forgot that you jumped my ‘monkey’ brother (Mikel) scored twice yesterday. And you call yourself a true fan?'.
Mikel moved on and posted a photo of himself on Instagram saying, ‘We are all one and equal. It’s just a game at the end of the day’. He drew a lot of support from fans all over the world, but that did not stop those racist acts against him.
‘A lot has been said about this – the issue of racism but since I've been here, my team and colleagues at Trabzonspor have been very nice to me, there’s not been any issue’, said Mikel. ‘After the game on Saturday I started getting messages on my Instagram, even my girlfriend getting instant messages of racism and hatred’.
Racism isn’t only rampant in the Super Lig. Most of the top European football leagues have reported racist abuse from fans in the Premier League, La Liga, and even in the Bundesliga.
‘I don’t think this should be happening and I think these people should be held responsible. They shouldn’t be allowed to come to games’, Mikel said.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores