Sport and Discrimination: Clean Scold

The discriminatory language on the football field is as old as the sport itself and there have been various attempts to combat it for as long. Tani KickIn! introduced an approach that has never existed before. “Language Kick” is the latest idea of ​​the association for inclusion and diversity in football, in which many fan clubs and football clubs from the Bundesliga to amateur football are members. He is supported by the German Football Association (DFB), the German Football League (DFL) and Aktion Mensch.

At the heart of the website is the “How do I say it best?” Feature, which uses practical examples to show how one’s use of the language itself can be made more comprehensive. Divided into four main topics, the guidelines describe a range of formulations that correspond to common rhetoric on the football fields of the republic – but are also discriminatory and therefore seek alternatives.

For example, under the category “Gender & Sexual Orientation” can be found the exclamation “What a gay passport!” is discriminatory because it equates homosexuality with poor performance. Proposed alternative: “Wow, what a bad crossing” – this would explain the underground quality of the crossing without discrimination and still sufficient.

You do not “own” a disability – you live with it

But the portal also contains very basic information, which is not only useful for football fans from the federal league to the district. For example, numerous formulations are listed under the heading “Disability and age”, which indicate that, for example, “disabled” is better described as “persons with disabilities”. Or that he does not “own” a disability, but simply “lives with a disability”.

Now some football fans may dismiss such petty detailed questions in a boring way – but it is precisely this small linguistic accuracy that makes a big difference in the perception of those affected, as project manager Daniela Wurbs revealed in the development of “Language Kick”. “Associations immediately condemn serious language violations, which is certainly true. But there is also a wide gray area in addition to black and white,” says Wurbs.

“If we want football for all, we must speak a common language”: Celia Sasic, here with Philipp Lahm announcing the host of EM 2024, supports the “Language Kick” project.

(Photo: Soeren Stache / dpa)

This is why she and her team have coordinated an intensive detailed work with the affected so that they can shed some light on this gray area. The creation of the website took more than a year. The project manager himself knows that “Language Kick” is not the last word.

The project wants to provide guidance – and hope for multipliers in stadiums

“We are targeting those who want to do better themselves and have a basic awareness of their language. We do not want to be language cops either, we just want to provide guidance,” Wurbs explains, and hopes their readers will act. as multipliers in the stadium appear. It can hardly be assumed that spokespersons shouting discriminatory insults on the football field would later call the “Language Kick” website in the quiet room to check how they might have expressed themselves better: “My wish would be for clubs to “hold SprachKick’s content in stadiums and display it on screens, for example.”

Celia Sasic, the newly elected DFB Vice President for Equality and Diversity, is supporting the project. “If we want football for everyone, we have to speak a common language. With each other, but also for each other,” says Sasic, who, as a former footballer, knows the effects of all kinds of attacks. discriminatory.

The importance of the “Language Kick” can also be measured by the other outstanding lawyers the project could win. Leon Goretzka, Gerald Asamoah or Thomas Hitzlsperger can be quoted on the project page. And also someone who has always had something to contribute to the major social debates in football. “I can really scold in the stadium, even without devaluing people,” says Ewald Lienen.

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