I really do wonder why world soccer fans are so darn rabid and often racist. I get being sports crazy and proud of your country. But the number of reports of soccer fans being racist to players is outrageous. And before you say they are that way to anybody playing against their teams, not just players of different ethnicities, stop right there. Because there have been many instances when these fans have targeted players from their OWN teams. Like in this case:
Hundreds of rabid supporters of popular Israeli soccer club Beitar Jerusalem walked out of a soccer stadium this weekend to protest the team’s new Muslim player.
A group of Beitar Jerusalem fans known as “La Familia” staged the walk out Sunday after Beitar striker Zaur Sadayev scoredhis first goal of the season against opposing team Maccabi Netanya early in the second half. The game ended in a 1-1 tie.
Sadayev, a 23-year-old Chechen Muslim, was hired along with Muslim teammate Gabriel Kadiev at the end of January. The move greatly displeased a core group of Beitar Jerusalem fans who are known for being nationalistic and anti-Muslim, according to The New York Times.
The Jewish Journal reports that fans have been thrown out of recent Beitar Jerusalem games for chanting anti-Arab and racist slogans.
The soccer club’s controversial hiring decision prompted a retaliatory arson attack against Beitar Jerusalem’s management offices in early February, according to the Jerusalem Post, and both Sadayev and Kadiev have been greeted with abuse by the fans.
I just don’t get it.