The photo of nine Dutch footballers that sparked a torrent of racist comments (Leroy Fer / Twitter) - Credit: The photo of nine Dutch footballers that sparked a torrent of racist comments (Leroy Fer / Twitter)
Sunday, 16 November 2014 - 15:09
Footballer's selfie sparks racism, “Zwarte Piet” remarks
A group photo of several Dutch national football players sparked a torrent of racially-charged remarks targeting the teammates. Midfielder Leroy Fer posted the photo of himself with eight other players on Twitter and Instagram. The photo was picked up and distributed repeatedly, with floods of comments likening the nine players to both Zwarte Piet and monkeys, and questioning whether they were "really" Dutch. Other players in the photo include Memphis Depay, Karim Rekik, Kenneth Vermeer and Gregory van der Wiel. Human rights activists have long complained that Zwarte Piet, the Moorish slave who assists Christmastime icon Sinterklaas, is a racist holdover from the colonialist era. Traditionalists say the often-buffoonish character is not meant to be racist, and that the character is only dark-skinned because he climbs up and down chimneys. Zwarte Piet is typically portrayed in the Netherlands by white people in blackface. One blog that posted the photo, Voetbalzone, took the popular picture down because of the remarks. “Although the photo had more than 8000 likes over the course of the afternoon, reactions lacked so much class that we have decided to remove the post,” said Voetbalzone editor Daniel Cabot Kerkdijk told RTL Nieuws. “Facebook should be fun and positive, or so we think” Dutch singer Hadewych Minis responded with despondence on her own Twitter account. “If you think that discrimination in NL is really not so bad, read how people responded to our Oranje heroes,” she wrote.
Als je denkt dat discriminatie in NL erg meevalt, lees dan hoe er op onze Oranjehelden wordt gereageerd: pic.twitter.com/3wLMypnXvF— Hadewych Minis (@Hadewych_Minis) November 15, 2014