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German Footballers The Latest Stars To Powerfully Tackle Racism In Sport

From Beyoncé to banana eating.

01/04/2016 09:44 | Updated 01 April 2016

This week, a group of German footballers responded to what they called a 'racial attack' on two of their team mates by 'blacking up' in solidarity. 

Deinster SV, a league club from the Lower Saxony region, posted a team photo with the faces of its white players digitally altered to appear black, along with a message of what happened to the men, both Sudanese migrants. 

Deinster SV/Facebook
The picture released by the German club yesterday

"Violence against refugees is pathetic," the Facebook post read. "Emad and Amar, you are one of us just like everyone else and we're happy you are with us."

Sport stars have a powerful history of confronting racism and sending moving messages to combat discrimination on and off the pitch. 

Here are six of the most poignant points in anti-racism in sport history:

  • 1 Australian star says 'the face of racism is a 13-year-old girl'
    A 13-year-old girl called footballing Swans star Adam Goodes an “ape” during the Indigenous Round clash between Sydney and West Coast in May 2013.

    He quickly singled her out, and to this day says he bore no anger but also that he had no regrets over asking match officials to remove her from the stadium.

    Speaking after the match he said: “To hear a 13-year-old girl call me an ape… it was shattering. He added: “Racism has a face - it’s a 13-year-old girl."
  • 2 Alves trolls racist who threw a banana at him
    Barcelona FC right back Dani Alves had the perfect response to a racist who threw a banana at him during a clash against Villarreal in April 2014. 

    The Brazilian, who also plays for his country’s national team, picked the fruit up from the floor, peeled, than ate it, before proceeding to take a corner kick. 

    "We have suffered this in Spain for some time," Alves said after the game. "You have to take it with a dose of humour. We aren't going to change things easily … If you don't give it importance, they don't achieve their objective."

    His gesture sparked the '#weareallmonkeys' hashtag, which saw celebrities from both in and outside the sporting world tweet pictures of themselves with bananas in solidarity with Alves. 
  • 3 Beyoncé backs 'Black Lives Matter' at Superbowl
    Ezra Shaw via Getty Images
    One of the world's most popular singers gave an unforgettable performance in support of the 'Black Lives Matter' campaign at this year's Superbowl. 

    Beyoncé's half-time delivery of her new song 'Formation' saw her backing dancers wear Black Panther berets, perform black power salutes, arrange themselves into the letter 'x' for Malcolm, and hold a homemade sign (said to be unofficial) demanding "Justice for Mario Woods", the victim of a police shooting in the U.S.

    Her performance sparked anger and protest among some, but it was a seminal point in drawing attention to the anti-racism cause at the biggest and most-watched sporting events ever televised.
  • 4 Full-scale walkout over match chants
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Fury at authorities’ failure to tackle racism in sport riled AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, enough to make him lead a player-walk off after being repeatedly targeted by sections of the crowd at a Pro Patria friendly.

    He picked up the match-ball midway through the first half and kicked it into the crowd, then removed his shirt and was followed by both sets of players and officials. 

    Boateng later commented: "I'm surprised we're still hearing these things in 2013. It's not the first time in my life I've had to hear or see things like this but I'm 25 and don't want to take this any more."
  • 5 A salute that rocked the world
    UniversalImagesGroup via Getty Images
    The Black Power salute was a human rights protest and one of the most overtly political statements in the 110-year history of the modern Olympic Games.

    African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos performed their Black Power salute at the 1968 Summer games in Mexico City.

    Smith said he had raised his right fist to represent black power in America, while Carlos explained he raised his left fist to represent black unity.
  • 6 Winmar hits back at racists who tell him to 'go walkabout where you came from'
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    Footballer Nicky Winmar’s reaction to being racially abused by a rival team’s cheerleading squad has been compared by some to the famous 1968 Black Power salute.

    In a match for St Kilda against Collingwood back in 1993, the opposition’s cheer team yelled at him to "go and sniff some petrol" and "go walkabout where you came from”.

    At the conclusion of the game, Winmar lifted up his jumper and, facing to the crowd, pointed to his skin. The following day, a photograph of him posing was published in newspapers under the headline: "Winmar: I'm black and proud of it.”

    His gesture has been hailed as "powerful statement", an "anti-racist symbol", and one of the "most poignant" images in Australian sport.
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