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Combating racism is the inescapable duty of football clubs: Chinese content creator

On the hallowed ground of Wembley Stadium, where the echoes of football's finest moments resound, a discordant note was struck.

Kevin, a Chinese football enthusiast and content creator, found himself on the receiving end of a racist chant during an interview with Real Madrid supporters at the Champions League Final, which was held on June 1.

Kevin shared his feelings and thoughts in an exclusive interview with GDToday on June 12.

Racism attack on Chinese viewers of the video

Kevin, who runs a channel on different social media platforms that have over 1.5 million followers, was conducting interviews when a group of Real Madrid fans unleashed a barrage of racist and sexist remarks. The incident, captured on camera and posted online by the unsuspecting victims, quickly went viral, sparking outrage across the Chinese internet.

According to Kevin, he cannot speak Spanish, but he thought it was a good song sung by the fans during the interview, because they sang it happily and kindly., 

“Now, I must say this is a racial attack on Chinese people,” said Kevin.

"We could have edited out that part if we had known it was a racist song," said Kevin, known for his engaging interactions with football fans, "but we were deceived into posting the video online." As the video gained attention and offended numerous Chinese people, this single incident escalated into a racial attack on Chinese individuals.

The incident has cast a dark shadow over the otherwise successful game, prompting a collective demand for a more civil and inclusive sport.

Later, Kevin discovered that the lead singer of the racial discrimination song was none other than the grandson of former Real Madrid chairman Lorenzo Sanz. Through social platforms, Kevin negotiated with the ex-chairman and his grandson, only to be met with a denial that this incident constituted racial discrimination.

Combating racism: the inescapable duty of football clubs

Kevin noted that Real Madrid Club has an inescapable duty in this incident, and that football clubs are an important link in the systematic fight against racism.

Kevin pointed out that although Real Madrid may not have a direct responsibility in the racial attack, it does have the responsibility to address the incident. To start with, he explained, fans come to clubs and pay clubs to watch games, therefore the connection between fans and clubs is certain. And in this case, he added, the racial abuser is even from a family boasting a close relationship with Real Madrid, therefore a clear stance of the latter towards this incident and racial discrimination in general is even more necessary.

"Some clubs are already taking a lot of measures to counter racial discrimination," Kevin noted. He listed examples of actions taken by Chelsea Football Club, including banning six of its fans because of their racial discriminatory behaviors during an English Premier League match. He also pointed out that while there are numerous measures football clubs can take, demonstrating the attitude and decisiveness in the fight against racism is of higher importance.

"There is no in-between in these matters of racial discrimination," stated Kevin with a firm voice. "Either you (clubs) encourage it, or you are against it. The only thing you cannot do is remain silent."

Eradicating racism: a collective endeavour, a process in progress

After discovering the racial attack, Kevin's response to the affront was swift and decisive. He reported the incident to the LALIGA Anti-racism Office, Real Madrid, and the UK police. The Chinese Embassy in Spain also swiftly expressed its shock and indignation, lodging a formal complaint with Real Madrid.

"First, be safe. Second, gather evidence, and report the evidence to all outlets you can reach," was Kevin's advice for all those who may face similar racist attacks. It is important that individuals who are attacked stand up and report the discrimination they suffer in a timely manner, with a non-tolerant attitude towards racism.

Education is also vital in raising awareness of anti-racism. Kevin also noted 'casual racism,' a form of racism that even people themselves fail to realize has a discriminatory nature. "We call this 'out of the blue'," said Kevin. "It is the most common form of racism that we experience. People just come at you and shout... Sometimes they don't even know it is racism." That's when education should come into play where awareness is lacking.

Kevin suggested that more education measures should be taken both inside and outside the stadium. For example, displaying educational videos on stadium big screens, including players from various countries inside football clubs and games in general, and more.

Through this incident, Kevin hopes to send a message of unity and respect to the public. He urges the sports community and society at large to join hands in the fight against racial discrimination, fostering an environment where everyone can enjoy the sport without fear of prejudice.

Towards a more discrimination-free future

Kevin exclaimed that although he had experienced racial discrimination in his interviews every time, it would only diminish his love and passion for the game of football and the football world a little.

Nevertheless, he still believed that progress was being made in the fight against discrimination, and that a more just and equitable football world could be expected in the future.

"Perhaps in five years, or ten years from now, when people learn about incidents like a Chinese reporter being racially abused by Spanish football fans, they will find it absurd," said Kevin. "They will wonder how someone could have treated a Chinese reporter that way. We will reach that point. However, if we can achieve it faster, then my love for the game of football will only grow stronger."

Reporter: Chuhua Guo

Video: Wing Heng

Editors: Steven, Abby, James

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