Jozy Altidore Says “Play on”

Posted: 02/01/2013 in Football
Tags: , , , , , ,
Jozy Altidore, 23, Fights racism by doing his job.

Jozy Altidore, 23, fights racism by scoring goals.

In the rowdy Dutch Cup tie against Den Bosch, Jozy Altidore showed he’s got class in reserve. Den Bosch was putting in a terrible performance that saw them five goals down and minus two players. The fans we pissed and vocal. They singled Altidore out as the only black player on the field. His response, score a penalty. 

 Three times to the announcer said “cut it out.” After the second red, and more abuse from the fans, including snowballs being thrown at the assistant referees. Referee Reinold Wiedmeijer ended the eight minutes into the second half. Let it be said Altidore was one of the players persuading the Ref to change his mind.

Recently Ghanaian player Kevin-Prince Boateng, left the pitch and forced the games end after similar abuse. Somehow I think Altidore was closer to the right approach. Not to trivialize the problem of racism, but football fans aren’t whispering sweet nothings into anyone’s ear. All players in every league are subject to the most foul, lyrical and personal disdain from the crowd. The only hope is that it’s from the opposition most games. The AP quoted Altidore saying:

I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction and I thought the best way to respond was to keep playing and to try and win the game,” he added. “I’m proud of the club, you know, for the way they responded, and my teammates. We kept playing the game.

I don’t think Boateng or Wiedmeijer got it right, but they did what they thought was right. As long as safety isn’t a concern, the game should continue. Score some goals and show them what you are, shut them up that way. I have little faith in the approach to culling racism in sport. The way it’s being handled is more grandstanding and shirt sales.

The game needs more honest representatives of the game like Altidore. He brings his best to the field and leaves it  all out there. Jackie Robinson’s birthday was the 31st and I’m sure he’d agree there’s no running away.    



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