Feedback
News

Deinster SV Soccer Club Posts Blackface Photo of Team to Surprising Response

Image: Deinster SV
Deinster SV posted this photo on the team's Facebook page. Jorg Struwe / days-webvision.de

MAINZ, Germany — This blackface photo is drawing more kudos than condemnation.

A soccer club in northern Germany mocked up the image in a show of support for its two black teammates after one apparently suffered a racist attack.

The digitally-altered photo — which shows the entire Deinster SV team with blackened faces — was posted Wednesday on the amateur team's Facebook page with the hashtag "UnitedWeStand."

It's been shared more than 1,600 times and has received more than 13,000 likes as of Thursday morning and drawn an overwhelmingly and surprisingly positive reaction for a practice typically slammed as deplorable.

“This has nothing to do with racism, we just wanted to show solidarity"

"Bravo" cheered one Facebook commenter. Others called the photo "courageous," "brilliant" and an "awesome" way to show solidarity against racism — though at least one posted that despite good intentions, blackface is always wrong.

A spokesperson for Deinster SV said the club had received a few negative comments about the image, but defended its presentation.

“This has nothing to do with racism, we just wanted to show solidarity,” spokesman Frank Sandmann told NBC News.

He said the image was posted after Emad Babiker — a Sudanese refugee who has played with the team for two seasons — was beaten and verbally harassed over the weekend. The incident is being investigated by local police, Sandmann added.

Related: Belgian Minister Under Fire for Blackface Photos

The caption of the Facebook post notes that Babiker was attacked "for racist reasons" which is "just so sad."

"Violence against refugees is pathetic," the post says in support of the player. "You belong to us just like anyone else from the Deinster sports club and we are happy that you are with us!!!"

Europe has a complicated — and controversial — history with blackface.

German holiday celebrations sometimes blacken the face of one of the Three Wise Men in Christmas pageants.

The Netherlands, meanwhile, has the holiday character known as "Black Pete" — a Christmas tradition activists have been fighting to retire.

FROM SEPT. 3, 2015: Athletes Suspended for Wearing Blackface 1:05