Pretty much like me, I could sense everyone was quite hopeful and unified in our hopes to see England emerge as the Champion of the just completed Euro 2020 and so we cheered extensively for the England players who have been nothing short of outstanding on the field at each of their games - reports out of the newspapers have particularly commended their dynamic performance and improved game in comparison to years past.
My latest post on instagram celebrated the importance of citizenry and the strength of a nation leaning on the commitment of her people in ensuring her success. No doubt hopes were dashed as the Italians, contrary to our desire, emerged as winners of the Euro 2020 Cup but that doesn’t take away from the dynamism of the Phenomenal England players. A team must emerge as winner and I bet similar to us the Italians were as hopeful as we were and the truth is we can all only wish but in the end a team must and will win and on this occasion the Italians were equally as good and so they won.
The opening aura at the stadium on Sunday spoke a lot to the beauty of a people when they are united, despite the recent pandemic many made the sacrifices to show up and cheer the amazing team of players and that was very impressive but to finish the night the way some did, took away from all the morale that was previously built up.
Certainly “It came Home” is not football that you and I were expecting but rather the presence of “Racism” in our society drove home a state of the nation that cannot be ignored - a fraction of the nation demonstrated that the unity displayed at the start of the game was undoubtedly situational for some, it was dependent on the team winning the game and of course as this wasn’t the case some fraction of the players were segregated and discriminated against despite their efforts and strong presence during the game.
I want to stress that this should not be overlooked at all as the Coach Gareth Southgate, Prince William, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and everyone who has condemned these act, it must be addressed not by merely shaming but by holding the parties guilty to accountability, racism should not be tolerated in whatever form or via whichever medium is used.
The game on the whole was very competitive and by the time it was down to penalties, I can tell you for free that the Caucasians were probably less tensed than their Black counterparts due to their past experiences with online and face to face bullying and as such no doubts those minutes would probably have been the most tensed minutes of their lives knowing how far they’ve come, you can bet they wanted the Cup more than you and I (no man goes to war with the intention of losing) and it would have been better if the reaction was different but then on the flip side how would we as a nation be privileged to look closely at some of the ills of the nation and address it appropriately.
This act of a fraction of the society launching personal attacks on young talented, devote and dedicated individuals with the youngest of them just 19 years of age is very callous and dastardly and should not be brushed aside but rather thoroughly checked out in other to get to a place where we can finally put to rest the fears of so many Black citizens of this nation and finally support them in addressing the very same issue that stirs them in the face daily. We must make the parties responsible understand respect for fellow humans, respect for our differences, acceptance, fair treatment, positive people treatment and kindness. It is obvious that sportsmanship is not understood by this group as the Italians themselves were not safe but above and beyond they lack culture competence and with globalisation this presents England in a bad light and as such we must be seen to taking active measures to hold people accountable and ensure this is addressed not just in support of citizens who have sacrificial given back as well as the rest who are likewise dealing with similar experiences, if we truly desire to hold the next game as it’s been proposed, we must be seen to be moving towards change.
Going forward, we as a nation need to look into how we can ensure that everyone is and feels valued as opposed to the feeling of some being more valued than the rest and that fair treatment and a complete sense of belonging is not an issue for those who are Blacks in the society.
This must stop and it has to stop now not later. We must be seen for who we profess to be and not pretend to the world, practise something different. The way we handle this recent incident will decide where we stand and where we intend to go from here.
Although, only a fraction of the nation were responsible for this act, no one is exonerated as our people are a reflection of our society and our response will say so much about the values we hold dear as a nation. Hence it lies with us to take steps in the right direction to address these ills. The time is now and I call on everyone to take a stand going forward “Zero Tolerance For Incivility.