What qualifies someone as a racist

Raheem Sterling: His casual greeting to the racists

Raheem Sterling doesn’t change his path. During the game in Sofia, like other teammates, he was racially insulted by Bulgarian fans, but then he simply scored one goal and then another. Once again England's striker was too fast for his opponents, once again he was too good.

In England's scandalous 6-0 win against Bulgaria, he scored for the eighth time in the European Championship qualification. His even bigger victory that day: With his class and his size, he put the blunderers in the standing block to shame.

It wasn't the first time Sterling had given the correct answer on the pitch in a hostile atmosphere. In March, England's team in Montenegro suffered similar racial hostility. It also took this opponent apart with 5: 1. Of course Sterling, Pep Guardiola's protégé in Manchester City, was among the shooters. When celebrating the goal, he greeted the opposing fans with a grip on the ear. What do you say now

Sterling stands for England's team and its spirit. He is one of several black players. Most of them are international stars, such as Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, Trent-Alexander Arnold from Liverpool, Dele Alli from Tottenham or Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard from Manchester United. The contemptuous cries apply to all of them.

Growing nationalism is evident in the stadiums

The new defender Tyrone Mings also experienced defamation before his debut in Sofia. He said that he heard chants while warming up. During the game, the fans increased their attacks, so that the referee had to interrupt the game twice. For a while it wasn't sure the team would keep playing. The captain Harry Kane had announced before the game that he would quit if his teammates were insulted. "We could have left the field on the second break, but the players really wanted to finish the first half," said England coach Gareth Southgate, who leads his team well.

One of his most important players in this ensemble of tumultuous talent is Sterling. He wants to win Euro 2020 with England, it would be the first title in more than fifty years. The team may be missing a strong midfielder, but the team may now grow together so tightly that they can close this gap. The English are being forced to grow together.



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The increasing nationalism in Europe is becoming more and more open in the stadiums, not just among fans. Turkish footballers saluted their warlord Erdoğan again on Monday in France. Those who don't take part, like Kaan Ayhan from Düsseldorf, were reprimanded by fellow players and hostile to fans. Italy's football is also experiencing a sad revival of racism.

It wasn't the first incident in Bulgaria either. This time a particularly nasty blow was present. The fans alienated the Uefa slogan "Respect" by putting a "No" in front of it. No respect! They made fun of admonishing stadium announcements and delivered the Hitler salute. Many Nazi symbols were spotted around the stadium. In the meantime, Bulgaria's association president Borislav Michajlow, who glossed over the incidents, resigned under pressure from the Prime Minister.

Not the victim, but the winner

It was Sterling who commented on the discussions on Twitter, including the domestic Bulgarian debate. He didn’t say a bad word, praised the Prime Minister and even defended the Bulgarian people. He was sorry for Bulgaria, wrote Sterling, that it was represented by such idiots. He also contradicted coach Krassimir Balakow, who embarrassingly said England had a bigger problem with racism than Bulgaria, in the most casual way. "I'm not sure about that, Chief."

So there are also footballers who can handle social media. Sterling, like some of his fellow players, was not, at least not only, the victim, but a sovereign winner over discrimination and racism. How the multiethnic team collects sympathy in general, so that you almost have to become an England fan. In politics, the English are making fools of themselves. They are role models in football.