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Soccer For Soccer’s Sake

Allianz Arena in Munich, home of the FC Bayern soccer club

Here is a long, illustrated letter from a reader about Woke Righteousness and German sports. Really amazing stuff, how the Woke have managed to politicize sports. Totalitarianism is a system in which only one ideology is allowed … and everything in life is ideologized. Politicizing sports is a manifestation of soft totalitarianism. If you don’t think the Left, and its friends the Woke Capitalists, are politicizing sports, read on:

As you’re probably aware, the the UEFA Euro 2020 soccer tournament is going on right now and Hungary is a part of the tournament. Tomorrow, they face Germany, in a match they (Hungary) are widely expected to lose. That really should be all there is to the story, but, unfortunately, as all things in this day and age, it’s not.

The match is taking place at the Allianz Arena in Germany, the home field of soccer titans FC Bayern Munich. The Allianz Arena has been lit up in rainbow colors in celebration of “Pride Month,” but the lights will be turned off for tomorrow’s match, I’m assuming, to avoid any sort of controversy with Hungary, which, as you’ve covered extensively, takes a different view on “Pride.” Personally, this appeared something of a magnanimous move. After all, Germany, like many European countries today, adheres to a belief that there’s no worse crime or trespass than to offend someone, especially of other (re: Muslim) countries.

But the FC Bayern Munich president wasn’t taking this sitting down:

There are two things to observe here. One, Allianz Arena is regularly lit up in various colors for many different observances. They’ll light up the stadium in red, white, and blue, for example, during many U.S. holidays, in a show of solidarity of their extensive American fan base. However, Pride Month is the longest celebration this club observes. The stadium is lit up in rainbow colors for the entire month. So, when they club says “open-mindedness and tolerance” are the fundamental values of their club and society, they mean LGBTQ is the foundation on which everything is built upon.

Second, if FC Bayern and Germany says the right things, they certainly don’t practice them. For one, Qatar Airways is a prominent sponsor of FC Bayern. There’s not a whole lot to say here, other than that Qatar Airways is a state-owned company of a country that takes a more conservative and oppressive view of LGBTQ than Hungary does. Yet, the team and Germany, as a whole, seem to have a permissive attitude towards Islamic attitudes than they do non-Woke European countries, which still have a lot more in common with Germany than any Islamic country ever will.

This comes on the heels of UEFA reviewing and, ultimately, deciding not to take action against Germany for their team captain, super-goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, wearing a rainbow armband during the first two matches (undoubtedly, he’ll continue to wear this armband, at least until the end of the month). UEFA has a rule stating that political messages are prohibited from being displayed on the pitch, but, apparently, the Pride rainbow isn’t a political message (more on that in a minute).

I find it utterly bizarre, however, that in a major international tournament, the captain’s armband isn’t that of the country which they represent. Instead, it’s that of the LGBTQ community. Talk about having lost the thread, completely. It’s almost like Germany has adopted a secondary national identity in the rainbow, though it slowly appears to be becoming the de facto national identity. The Woke will undoubtedly say, “Why can’t you represent both?” To which, I say, “This is a tournament among nationalities. Which nationality matters most, to you? The one that represents all the people of your country? Or the one that represents only those who aren’t straight, male, or female?

This bring me back to the point about politics. LGBTQ is political, there’s just no way around it. Take a look at what the Toronto FC Bayern Fan Club had to say:

In other words, “If you aren’t a full-throated supporter of Pride, you cannot be a fan of this club.” Imagine if someone had said, “If you aren’t a full-throated supporter of Germany, it’s history, and Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit (Unity and Justice and Freedom), you cannot be a fan of this club.” That would undoubtedly viewed as political and squashed on the spot. Even one of the German players (who also played for FC Bayern), Leon Goretzka, very openly campaigns against the nationalist right-wing party Alternative for Germany, once calling it a “disgrace” to the country. Granted, he doesn’t do it on the pitch, but, I don’t think I’m wrong to say that his actions would be regarded very differently if he campaigned against Die Linke. [The Left]

When the message is, “We welcome all who think a certain way, reject those who don’t,” it’s political. It’s gone far beyond simply policing actions or even speech.

I really have to wonder what the players themselves actually think about this. Are they fully in line with all of it? Have they all been brainwashed into being true believers in this madness? Or do they go along with it, knowing the alternative is to not have a career in professional athletics?

All I know is this – some of us just want to enjoy the game. But there really are no distractions any longer and nowhere to hide anymore.


Sorry to bombard you – here’s a story that provides more context. This is UEFA’s explanation for why they’re not allowing the stadium to be lit up in rainbow colors:

Here’s another story that confirms, without a doubt, that lighting up the stadium in rainbow colors was entirely political and, at least in part, a protest against Hungary’s LGBTQ laws, which you recently talked about:

The mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, is a member of the left-wing Social Democratic Party of Germany. Important to know.

All I have to say is, if it bothers them that much, Germany should just refuse to play the match against Hungary. Put your money where your mouth is.

Again, I have to wonder what the German players and the German people really think about all this…

Thanks, Reader, for that commentary. Meanwhile, check out what Frank Furedi had to say about the match in Budapest between the Hungarian national team and France last Saturday. Excerpt:

As I arrive at the fans’ zone, I see a bunch of guys holding a banner challenging the gesture of taking the knee. The banner has an image of someone taking the knee with a cross through it — a clear statement of rejection of this practice of abasement.

I talk to Gergely and Sanyi, two of the guys milling around the banner. They tell me why they think it’s right to take a stand against the Anglo-American gesture of taking the knee. Sanyi tells me, ‘We are not like them, we are a proud people who refuse to bend ourselves to anyone’. Standing near us is Orsolya, who says the ritual of taking the knee has nothing to do with being against racism. ‘It is a new form of piety. It makes us sick.’

Almost everyone I talk to tells me that we Hungarians have decided to take a stand against all this crap. They are still angry that when they booed the Irish for taking the knee in a recent game, the Western press denounced them as racist. They feel that they are continually lectured by the Western media as if they are colonial subjects. And they are not having it anymore.

Talking to these supporters was like being enveloped in commonsense sanity. Their buzz was infectious. I got a really strong feeling that freedom was in the air.


about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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