German soccer team posts blackface photo to show 'solidarity,' fight racism

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A German soccer team posted a blackface picture of the team in order to show solidarity with two of its Sudanese refugee teammates, who were attacked during an Easter celebration in a racial attack.

During the attack, Emad Babiker was physically assaulted, while Amar Alnoor was verbally assaulted. Both teammates were Sudanese refugees before joining the team.

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“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,” coach Sönke Kreibich told

In a show of solidarity, the team, Deinster SV, posted a digitally altered image of the team, in blackface, to its Facebook page. “Violence against refugees is pathetic,” the Facebook post reads. “Emad and Amar, you are one of us.”

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The image has been well-received and has received thousands of shares, a fact that may surprise people living in the United States, where blackface is widely seen as offensive. However, German tradition, generally, does not hold the act of donning blackface in as much contempt, as it is even a popular part of the Karneval celebration.

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“This has nothing to do with racism. We just wanted to show solidarity,” team spokesman Frank Sandmann told NBC News.