NO AL RAZZISMO with Naomi Accardi
The year 2020 has resulted in a series of unprecedented events that amplified underlying issues that have been seeping through society for centuries. Race issues and the subsequent dialogues and actions taken to counter the hostile sentiment that has been affecting the Black community and other minorities for as long as we can remember have found new grounds for discussion and a seemingly spotlighted stage. The pressure chamber created by the worldwide lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic played a part in the radicalization of many, who’s attention undeniably got diverted to important matters in the absence of live entertainment and sport.
Football has always been at the center of the conversation on race, given its popular nature and cultural value in society. The diversity shown on the pitch is often not met in the boards nor in the fans pits, often leading to unsustainable, toxic environments for the players that are not correctly supported in the fight against the abuse. Moreover, the Italian football league has left the problem unresolved for far too long, leaving athletes open to overt racist chants, slurs and sometimes even physical attacks from the Ultras groups. Almost always these behaviors are left unpunished, allowing the ground to proliferate with hate and xenophobia.
As the issue intensifies and no real measures are put in place, we decided to survey a number of footballers, professional and amateur, about their experience with racism in Italy.
The result was a collaboration comprised of a T-Shirt and a small publication focused on the topic of racism. The T-shirt, available in white and heather grey, features a rework of the famous logo that rose to fame during the 1990 World Cup, when hooligans from all over Europe invaded Italy and caused mayhem, reiterating the horrible practice of bringing violence into stadium.
All proceeds will be donated to Milan-based organization Bimbe Nel Pallone.
Photography by Kwabena Appiah-nti
Models: Ogènda, Hanane, Jefferson, Aten, Joya, Orry