Crazy Talk: Monkey Chants at Soccer Player?
At this point, allegations of racism in soccer aren't so much "We can't believe that really happened" crazy as much as they are "Really, still? Another monkey joke?" crazy. Either way, if this story is true, the Russian sports minister's dismissal of the allegations as "stupid" shows exactly the attitude that allows this type of behavior to thrive. From Yahoo Sports:
Russia's sports minister has called "stupid" allegations that fans had hurled racial abuse at the Czech Republic's only black player, saying they were only booing those who did not join their Mexican wave.
"This is stupid and unfair," Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko was quoted as saying by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
"I was at that match and saw everything. Our fans started a 'wave' but the Czech sector did not stand up. So they started criticising the Czechs by making the corresponding noises."
A watchdog group said Ethiopian-Czech player Theo Gebre Selassie was subjected to racial abuse during Russia's 4-1 victory in Friday's Euro 2012 opening match for both sides.
Rafal Pankowski of the Polish-based organisation Never Again -- part of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network -- said his group's monitors "heard monkey chants directed by some Russian fans" at Selassie.
Read more at Yahoo.