This text is sensitive. Try generating new copy.
As the 18th century philosopher Jeremy Bentham put it, “The question is not, can they reason? nor can they talk? but can they suffer?” In fact, since the dawn of time, people have been trying to find out if one human being can stand up to another, and what makes us different from other animals. As far as the sporting world is concerned, the answer is: yes, we do suffer, and we can reason.
During England’s 4-0 World Cup qualifying win against Hungary in Budapest, manager Gareth Southgate condemned racist chants and referred to the offenders as “dinosaurs.”
England players took a knee before to the game as a show of unity in the battle against racism, and the action was greeted with loud booing. Later in the game, UK television station ITV reported on monkey chants directed towards England’s Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham.
– Don’t have access to ESPN? Get immediate access
Southgate claimed he did not hear the shouts during the match, but when informed, he acknowledged that England had reported the events to UEFA, the regulatory body of European football.
“I’m just getting a sense of what’s occurred because we weren’t really aware of it on the bench,” Southgate said after the game. “It seems that there have been a few instances.”
“Everyone knows what we stand for as a team, and that’s inexcusable.” Everything has been submitted to UEFA, and now we will have to wait and see what happens next. In the battle against racism, this group of players — and, to be honest, the whole staff — could do nothing more. We’re doing our best to maintain our end of the bargain, and others must do the same in order for progress to be made.
“I haven’t [said anything to the players yet] since I wasn’t aware of it when I was in the locker room.” However, I am aware that our security chief has talked with the players and collected their comments. We’ll take care of it immediately in the proper manner and via the proper channels.
“I don’t believe our players can do much more than they have in the past two or three years in terms of getting the right messages out and taking the correct positions, and I believe it is up to others to defend them. It is primarily my responsibility to safeguard them, but the authorities must also do so.”
Southgate emphasized that the racist shouting was not the fault of the whole home crowd, while also emphasizing that England has its own problems to cope with.
“They shouldn’t have to deal with racism in any way,” he said. “I’d say there’s also a balance in the audience.”
The ‘dinosaurs’ who racially insulted England players were chastised by Gareth Southgate. Getty Images/Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA
“As we all know, not everyone creates issues at home, and our national anthem was surprisingly well appreciated tonight.” As a result, criticizing all Hungarian supporters is unfair. A large number of them were very generous and well-behaved.
“I believe the scenario is quite similar to one we encounter at home.” Individuals who are culpable must be held accountable. I believe there is some proof. People have been recorded, and we must hope that the authorities respond appropriately.
“They recognize that the world is evolving, and that certain individuals who are trapped in old ways of thinking and biases will eventually become dinosaurs as the world evolves.” Hungary’s population is nothing like as varied as ours, therefore it will unavoidably take us a long time to reach where we need to go.
“And if other nations do not have the same degree of variety as our country, it is unlikely that it has influenced their thinking in the same way that it has in ours.” We’ll keep doing what we’re doing. We shall continue to strive to set a good example for people in our own nation, who will be affected by us more than those in other countries.
“I’m constantly aware that whenever I talk about something, I’m not sure whether I always use the appropriate tone or words, and I never want to downplay it. We have excellent intentions, and we hope that people recognize and appreciate that.”
After missing penalties in England’s Euro 2020 campaign, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka were targeted for racism, which Southgate described as “unforgivable.”
Hungary was given a one-game stadium ban in 2019 for racist shouting, and they were compelled to play one match behind closed doors at Euro 2020 owing to discriminatory supporter behavior — but this did not apply to the match against England.
Sterling, Harry Kane, Harry Maguire, and Declan Rice scored second-half goals to help England win 4-0.