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blog

Racism In Soccer: A New Low As Parents Target Under-10 Players

The AC Milan Under-10 Squad
The AC Milan Under-10 Squad

Racism in soccer hit a new low over the weekend when black players from AC Milan's Under-10 team say they were booed and heckled by other parents during a Universal Cup match.

The youngsters were playing their Paris Saint-Germain equivalents for a place in the semi-finals of the Tuscany tournament that features 48 international teams, including Chelsea, Ajax and Benfica.

It's not clear which team the heckling parents were supporting, though event organizers insist that the remarks weren't racist in nature but instead questioned whether the Milan players were over the age limit, La Stampareports.

The organizers added an anti-racism video to their Facebook page Monday morning, followed by a statement Tuesday that their investigation found no evidence that racist or even vaguely discriminatory chants were uttered Sunday.

Sadly, racism in soccer is nothing new, and many talented stars, including former AC Milan players Mario Balotelli and Kevin-Prince Boateng, have been subject to abusive tirades.

On a happier note, the young team from AC Milan went on to defeat Inter Milan 4-0 in the final, winning the overall competition.

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Ideas

The Colonial Spirit And "Soft Racism" Of White Savior Syndrome

Tracing back to Christian colonialism, which was supposed to somehow "civilize" and save the souls of native people, White Savior Syndrome lives on in modern times: from Mother Teresa to Princess Diana and the current First Lady of Colombia, VerĂłnica Alcocer.

photo of a child patient holding hand of an adult

Good intentions are part of the formula

Ton Koene / Vwpics/ZUMA
Sher Herrera

-Analysis-

CARTAGENA — The White Savior Syndrome is a social practice that exploits or economically, politically, symbolically takes advantage of individuals or communities they've racialized, perceiving them as in need of being saved and thus forever indebted and grateful to the white savior.

Although this racist phenomenon has gained more visibility and sparked public debate with the rise of social media, it is actually as old as European colonization itself. It's important to remember that one of Europe's main justifications for subjugating, pillaging and enslaving African and American territories was to bring "civilization and save their souls" through "missions."

Even today, many white supremacists hold onto these ideas. In other words, they believe that we still owe them something.

This white savior phenomenon is a legacy of Christian colonialism, and among its notable figures, we can highlight Saint Peter Claver, known as "the slave of the slaves," Bartolomé de Las Casas, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Princess Diana herself, and even the First Lady of Colombia, Verónica Alcocer.

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