Football Match paused due to a black player being called Zwarte Piet

I don’t know much about football, apart from never bet on the English football team to win a major tournament. As I write this post, it’s the happiest time of the year in the Netherlands, Sinterklaas time. The good holy man is back in the Netherlands and in some parts of the country, such as in Den Bosch, his helpers are traditional blackface Zwarte Piets.

Zwarte Piet brings out the best in some Dutch people

Yesterday, there was a football match between Den Bosch and a team called Excelsior. A black member of the Excelsior football team, Mendes Moreira had to endure disgusting racist abuse throughout the game. Amongst other things, he was called a Kanker (cancer)  N-word and a Kanker Zwarte Piet. Which is surprising when many Dutch people claim that they see no connection between ZP and black people.

Things got so bad at one point that he and his team walked off the pitch and the game was stopped for ten minutes. After the game continued he got his revenge by scoring a goal.

The behaviour of the fans and the racist abuse endured by this player makes it crystal clear that there are plenty of people who associate Zwarte Piet with people of colour.  But of course, no doubt they would claim that this wasn’t the case until Sylvana Simons and the Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP) protest group started campaigning against the blackface appearance of Zwarte Piet.  In fact, one only has to look at the Facebook page of the Dutch news organisation NOS to see that many people are actually blaming the anti-Zwarte Piet movement for making Dutch people racist. Great logic!


man with head in sand

“What’s the problem? I don’t see anything wrong at all. Ik snap het niet”


Memphis Depay, who plays for the Dutch national team tweeted the following.

What a glorious time of year. Echt leuk!

No Zwarte Piet lovers were hurt during the writing of this post