An amateur German soccer team took a stand against racism by wearing blackface to show solidarity with their Sudanese teammates, The Huffington Post reports.
Deinster SV posted a Photoshopped image of the entire team in blackface after two Sudanese teammates were verbally and physically assaulted in an alleged hate crime. Coach Sönke Kreibic said Sudanese refugees Emad Babiker and Amar Alnoor were attacked during an Easter celebration in Northern Germany last week.
In an effort to bring forth unity, the team’s Facebook page posted the photo below with the loosely translated caption, “Violence against refugees is pathetic!! Emad and Amar – you belong to us, like any other of your Sports Club and we are pleased that you are with us!!!”
Germany is widely known for their use of blackface during Karneval celebrations, tracing all the way back to the 1800s. Despite the cultural differences, the country has insisted their use of the makeup isn’t racist.
Team spokesman Frank Sandmann said the reactions have been overwhelmingly positive:
“This has nothing to do with racism, we just wanted to show solidarity,” spokesman Frank Sandmann told NBC News.
The photo has gotten over 16,000 likes and been shared over a thousand times.
The incident with Babiker and Alnoor is currently being investigated by local police.