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German MP removes message about the skin color of football players – DW – 20/06/2024

German MP Katrin Göring-Eckardt on Thursday deleted a social media post commenting on the skin color of German footballers after it attracted backlash.

She apologized for the post, which was made after Germany’s 2-0 win over Hungary in their second Euro 2024 stage match on Wednesday.

Göring-Eckhardt is a member of the Greens and vice-president of the Bundestag, the German parliament.

Germany defeated Hungary 2–0 in Stuttgart, paving the way for the team’s participation in the knockout stages of the tournamentImage: Bernd Weißbrod/dpa/picture alliance

What was the deleted tweet about?

“This team is really exceptional. Imagine if there were only white German players,” the German lawmaker reportedly said in the now-deleted post on platform X, formerly Twitter.

After deleting the post, Göring-Eckhardt apologized, saying: “I was angry that 21% of Germans would prefer to see more ‘whites’ in the national team.”

“I am proud of this team and I hope we can convince the remaining 21%,” she added. “I’m sorry for the way I worded it.”

The German national team participating in the European Championship includes black players and players with Turkish roots.

Research shows that one in five Germans wants more ‘white’ players

Göring-Eckardt was referring to a survey by the public broadcaster WDR that showed that one in five Germans would like to see more white players in the German national football team.

The investigation received sharp criticism, including from coach Julian Nagelsmann, who described it as ‘racist’.

WDR said it commissioned the survey after producers came across racist statements about German footballers while filming a documentary about the national team.

Göring-Eckardt’s initial post was criticized by other lawmakers, including the deputy leader of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), Wolfgang Kubicki. The FDP and the Greens are both junior partners in the coalition government led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats (SPD).

“I find it really worrying when people in Germany are judged by their skin color. My colleague must quickly remove this text,” Kubicki said.

sdi/rmt (dpa, EPD)

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