Sport and Discrimination: The German Football Association’s “Language Kick” Guide – Sports

Discriminatory language on the football field is as old as the sport itself, and there have been various attempts to combat it throughout this time. Now KickIn! It introduced an approach that had not existed before. “Language Kick” is the name of the latest idea from the federation for inclusion and diversity in football, where many fan clubs and football clubs from the German Bundesliga have joined the football enthusiasts. It is supported by the German Football Association (DFB), the German Football League (DFL) and Action Minch.

At the core of the website is the “How do I say it best?” function. , which uses practical examples to show how one can make one’s use of language more inclusive. Divided into four main themes, the Guidelines describe a number of formulations that are in keeping with common rhetoric on football stadiums in the Republic – but are also discriminatory and therefore require alternatives.

For example, under the category “Sex and sexual orientation” one can find the exclamation “What a gay passport!” Discriminatory because it equates homosexuality with poor performance. Suggested alternative: “Stop, what a lousy pass” – that would explain the discreet quality of the pass indiscriminately yet sufficiently.

You don’t “master” 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 domestic league. For example, several formulas are listed under the heading “Disability and age” which indicate that, for example, “handicapped” is best described as “persons with disabilities.” Or that the person does not “master” the disability, but simply “lives with the disability.”

Now some football fans may shrug off such small detailed questions – but it’s precisely this small linguistic subtlety that makes the most difference in the perception of influencers, as project manager Daniela Worbs discovered in developing Kick Language. “Associations immediately condemn severe linguistic abuse, which is true of course. But there is also a wide gray area except for black and white,” Warps says.

“If we want football for everyone, we have to speak a common language”: Celia Sasic, here with Philipp Lahm to announce the hosting of Euro 2024, supports the “Language Kick” project.

(Photo: Soeren Stache/dpa)

That’s why she and her team coordinated extensive detailed work with those affected so they could shed some light on this gray area. It took more than a year to create the site. The project manager herself knows that “Language Kick” isn’t the last word.

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

“Wir zielen auf die ab, die es von sich aus besser machen wollen und ein grundsätzliches Bewusstsein für ihre Sprache haben. Wir wollen auch keine Sprachpolizei sein, sondern nur eine Orientierungshilfe shilfe bserlä sta li shilfe kbieläs” occur fall appear. It cannot be assumed that loudmouths shouting discriminatory insults on the football field would later call the “Language Kick” site in the quiet room to check how they best express themselves: “I wish the clubs would carry content from Sprach Enter the stadiums and display it on screens, for example.” example”.

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

The importance of the “language kick” can also be measured by the other notable defenders the project has managed to win. Leon Goretzka, Gerald Asamoah or Thomas Hitzlsperger may be cited on the project page. And also someone who has always had something to contribute to the major social debates in football. “I can really poop on the court, even without underestimating people,” says Ewald Lenin.

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