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Dutch soccer captains boycott TV show over racist remarks

Holland national football teams (men, women, and youth) captains are leading the boycott of a popular sports TV programme over the racist comments of a longstanding pundit. Liverpool defensive maestro, Virgil van Dijk and Atletico Madrid goalkeeper, Sari van Veenendaal are leading the boycott because of the racist behaviour of Johan Derksen.

In a joint communique issued by current and past Dutch soccer players, the national team captains wrote: “This is no longer on the brink. This has nothing to do with humour any more. This is not the language of football. This is over the line. Not for the first time. Not for the second time. Time and time again. Enough is enough.”

Derksen, aged, 71 had interjected on the Veronica Inside show by wanting to establish an equivalence of a man in a blackface makeup of the Zwarte Piet or Black Pete, character from the festive Saint Nicholas celebrations, to that of a well-known Dutch activist and Black Lives Matter protester. Derksen, a former professional soccer player is known for being controversial.

Advertisers have also threatened to join the players’ protest with Maiko Valentijn, the CEO of MediaCOM, the agency that purchases airtime for advertisers in Holland in an interview with the newspaper, Algemeen Dagblad portrayed the incidence as a “breaking point.” Johan Derksen, the man at the centre of the controversy has refused to apologise.

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