Unser Freund und Mitspieler Emad wurde am Samstag, aus rassistischen Gründen, beschimpft und geschlagen. Das ist einfach…

Posted by Deinster SV on Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Not sure if you’ve heard, but European soccer has a bit of a racism problem, with racial or anti-Semitic taunts long plaguing the game. There are also growing tensions in countries such as Germany over the flow of refugees and migrants.

So after two German soccer players, who also happen to be Sudanese refugees, were the subject of racially motivated attacks on Easter Sunday, the organization for which they play decided to show some solidarity — by digitally altering the team photo so that every player appears in blackface.

One player for Deinster SV was physically attacked “for racial reasons,” reads the caption accompanying the photo. “This is simply sad! Violence against refugees is pathetic.”

“Emad and Amar — you are one of us, like any other member of the Deinster SV, and we are happy that you are with us!!!”

It ends with the hashtag #UnitedWeStand.

A team spokesman told NBC News that Emad Babiker, who has played for Deinster SV for two seasons, was beaten and that police are investigating.

Coach Soenke Kreibich told Jetzt that both players were targeted at an Easter celebration.

“We wanted to make a stand, amongst ourselves but also to the public,” Kreibich told the website, according to BBC. “It should make it clear that Emad and Amar are an inherent part of our team, and not a minority on whom you can use violence to let off your personal frustration.”

Blackface has deep and painful connotations in the United States, where it’s viewed as removed from the mainstream and taboo. While there’s a growing backlash against it in Germany, blackface is still popular at Karneval.

NBC News notes that the Facebook photo on the team’s page received a lot of positive responses online. From NBC:

A spokesperson for Deinster SV said the club had received a few negative comments about the image, but defended its presentation.
“This has nothing to do with racism, we just wanted to show solidarity,” spokesman Frank Sandmann told NBC News

Aaron Blake contributed.

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