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German lawmaker deletes post on football players' skin color

June 20, 2024

Greens lawmaker Katrin Göring-Eckardt apologized for the post made after Germany's 2-0 win against Hungary. It comes after a survey showed 21% of Germans would like to see more white players on the national team.

Bundestag vice president Katrin Göring-Eckhardt on February 3, 2024.
Green lawmaker Katrin Göring-Eckardt apologized for commenting on the skin color of players in Germany's national football teamImage: Bodo Schackow/dpa/picture alliance

German lawmaker Katrin Göring-Eckardt on Thursday deleted a social media post commenting on the skin color of German football players after it was met with backlash.

She apologized for the post made after Germany's 2-0 victory over Hungary in their second Euro 2024 stage match on Wednesday.

Göring-Eckhardt is a member of the Greens and vice president of the Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament.

German national football team on field during match in Stuttgart on June 19, 2024.
Germany beat Hungary 2-0 in Stuttgart, paving the way for the team's entry into the knockouts stage of the tournamentImage: Bernd Weißbrod/dpa/picture alliance

What was the deleted tweet about?

"This team is truly exceptional. Just imagine if there were only white German players," the German lawmaker reportedly said in the now-deleted post on platform X, formerly Twitter.

After removing the post, Göring-Eckhardt apologized, saying: "I was upset that 21% of Germans would prefer to see more 'whites' in the national team."

"I am proud of this team, and I hope that we can convince the remaining 21%," she added. "I'm sorry about the way I worded it."

Germany's national team competing at the Euros includes of Black players and players with Turkish roots, among others.

Surveys show one in five Germans want more 'white' players

Göring-Eckardt was referring to a survey by the public broadcaster WDR that showed that one in five Germans would like to see more white players on Germany's national football team.

The survey was met with sharp criticism, including from coach Julian Nagelsmann, who described it as "racist."

WDR said it commissioned the poll after producers encountered racist statements about German football players while filming a documentary on the national team.

Göring-Eckardt's initial post was criticized by other lawmakers, including the deputy leader of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), Wolfgang Kubicki. The FDP and the Greens are both junior partners in the coalition government led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats (SPD).

"I find it really worrying when people in Germany are judged by the color of their skin. My colleague should quickly delete this text," Kubicki said.

sdi/rmt (dpa, EPD)