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No black goalkeepers in the Bundesliga: racism, of course!


Berlin - According to a study, the absence of dark-skinned goalkeepers in the Bundesliga is due to discrimination. If individual clubs do not employ black goalkeepers, it could be a coincidence, explained integration researcher Tina Nobis from Humboldt University in Berlin to Der Spiegel. "But that there isn't a single black goalkeeper in the Bundesliga is not."

In the as yet unpublished study, the researchers categorized players in the first and second Bundesliga according to their skin color and position. Among the 121 goalkeepers there is therefore not a single one who is black, and only four who were rated as “People of Color”. A total of 20 percent of all players in the two leagues are dark-skinned.

According to the study, there are also fewer black players compared to the average. In the forwards it is 24 percent, on the offensive flanks 37 percent and thus significantly more than the average.

"Racial stacking" is already established in amateur sports
This could be due to "racial stacking" (also called "racist stacking"). This is the case when white people are over-represented in important positions, while dark-skinned people proportionally more often take positions in which physical characteristics play a relevant role.

It can be assumed that the different occupations are mainly due to racist ascriptions and ideas. These could also occur unconsciously. For example, this means the unfounded assumption that light-skinned footballers are game-intelligent, while black ones are primarily athletic.

Nobis suspects that “racial stacking” is already becoming established in amateur sports. Presumably, black young players would not even be considered for certain positions, "because there is a lack of black role models." The former goalkeeper of the second division Greuther Fürth, Stephan Loboué, supports this point of view.

Black goalkeeping coach and ex-professional disagrees
Although Kicker magazine ranked him the second best goalkeeper in the league in 2009 and he was able to change teams for free, he did not receive an offer from the first division, the dark-skinned ex-professional told Der Spiegel. “In Germany, dark-skinned goalkeepers are met with great skepticism. I think they didn't trust me to do that."

The contradiction comes from the former player David Yelldell, who was the goalkeeping coach of the U18 national team until last year and currently trains the goalkeepers of the third division club SG Dynamo Dresden. The son of a black American and a German reacted with reluctance to the results of the study. "In all my time I have never seen anyone being prevented from playing in a certain position."

According to the news magazine, there are currently several young goalkeepers who are called "People of Color" by the German Football Association and who are pushing into the selection teams.

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