After two black players of a German soccer club became the target of a racially motivated attack, the rest of their team decided to take a stand against racism.
The only problem: The protest was just as offensive.
Deinster SV, a club from the lower leagues of Lower Saxony, expressed solidarity with their Sudanese refugee teammates by donning blackface in a digitally altered team picture posted on Facebook.
Their coach, Soenke Kreibich, explained the attack took place during Easter in the team’s hometown of Deinster in northern Germany. While one player named Emad Babiker was physically assaulted, the other, Amar Alnoor, was subjected to verbal abuse.
“Emad was thrown to the ground. They struck and kicked him. When I saw him on Sunday, he had a big swelling under his eye,” Kreibich told Jezt.de.
While appreciating the effort, many took issue with the team’s usage of blackface, which is generally considered a symbol of racism, especially in the United States.
...you wear blackface to...protest...racism...run that by me again pic.twitter.com/RlR4nr7zYZ— Semi (@dancingelf88) March 31, 2016
So you do something racist to protest racism....did none of you google blackface? https://t.co/n8u0MhSDAM— Evie Wørker (@EvieMichal20) March 31, 2016
how do u protest against racism using blackface??? 2+2=6??? https://t.co/b7Kd3OxYLq— ellie (@elliesus) March 31, 2016
However, considering the team meant well and their message is one of solidarity, coming at a time when violence against refugees in Germany is at an all-time high, the blunder can be excused.
"Violence against refugees is pathetic," the team’s post reads. "Emad and Amar, you are one of us just like everyone else and we're happy you are with us."