Serge Gnabry has condemned those responsible for racially abusing Ilkay Gundogan and Leory Sane on Wednesday night saying that “racism belongs neither to the football stadium nor to other areas of society.”
Three men, all aged between 30 and 40, handed themselves into Wolfsburg police on Friday in connection with the alleged incidents that saw Sane abused for being black and Gundogan for his Turkish heritage.
Neo-Nazi chants were also allegedly heard along with references to Hitler.
It would, of course, be easy to single German fans out. Many were, after all, hardly tolerant when they decided to turn on Mesut Ozil after the World Cup in Russia. But this is not a German problem, it is a football problem, because, as Gnabry says, it is a societal problem.
Gnabry told Bild that the incident got to him, “because I have the same colour as Leroy. It’s just sad.
“We stand for diversity and tolerance. That goes without saying for us. It is sad that something like this happens – whether it’s an international match or everyday life. And you have to tackle it. That goes for all of us.
“It’s absurd to cheer on one player and insult the other because of his skin color. Racism belongs neither to the football stadium nor to other areas of society.
“It’s important to raise your voice.”
And that’s exactly what we plan on doing here.
Those who’ve followed the site for a while will know we’ve never shied away from these issues but we’ve now made a conscious decision to cover them more heavily moving forward.
These things need illuminating. Far too many in football are happy to keep it all in the shadows so they don’t have to deal with it.