European Soccer: Hatred and history beyond the pitch

 

The European community saw yet another display of Anti-Semitism at the Europa League soccer game between England’s Tottenham and Italy’s Lazio last Thursday during a high tension game in Rome.

Tottenham is known for having a strong Jewish following from Northern England. These fans were attacked without merit at the game, with remarks from Lazio fans including “Juden Tottenham” calling upon difficult memories from the second World War. “Free Palestine” was also among the chants from Lazio fans, touching upon the current and continuing situation between Israel and Palestine.

In unfortunate situations such as this, one can truly see the power that this sport has beyond the pitch, as fans take matters into their own hands…transforming the sport from enjoyable passtime to personal attack. The World Jewish Congress has asked that Lazio be removed from the Europa league for their racist commentary, as the team seemed to support their fans’ opinions.

Regardless of the tolerance and anti-racism campaigns run by UEFA in recent years, it’s disheartening to see that hatred still very much exists in this organization.

Soccer, or football as they say, is much more than a sport in Europe, but a means for fans to identify with a political, economic, national, and racial past. This adds an interesting dynamic to each game, as one roots for the team that truly represents their personal experience. Displays of hatred and violence at games bring unfortunate realities into the limelight.

Where do we go from here? Have you had any personal experience with sports related racism and intolerance? Please share your stories, everyone deserves to be heard.
At least I am a Juventus fan 😉

 

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Upcoming World Travels!! Pack your bags!

Well hello again folks, long time no talk… or eat..
Again I apologize for the abysmal lack of posting, but something really exciting is coming up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Starting August 27th (until October 8th), I will be going on a 2 month Europe trip to some really exciting places including: (but not necessarily in this order)

1) Russia

2) England

3) Estonia

4) Finland

5) Denmark

6) Belgium

7) The Netherlands

8 France

9) Germany

10) Italy

11) Sweden

While I am on this amazing trip I will be going out of my way to seek out some really amazing eats, as I’d like to fulfill my Anthony Bourdain prophecy.

Amazing pictures and grassroots gourmet are coming, and I am getting ravenous just thinking about it! But not to worry, you can all live vicariously through me (and maybe even learn something new) as soon as this trip commences. Here are some shots from last year’s excursion!

Hangin' in Montenegro
Hangin' in Montenegro
Relishing in Pompousness in Italia

Casa di Prosciutto, Parma Italy
Casa di Prosciutto, Parma Italy
Making Pizza with the Host Fam
Making Pizza with the Host Fam

So buckle up, put on your bibs and dig in! Grassroots Gourmet Style!