Finland men’s national football team captain Tim Sparv says in a Wednesday release Yle in an interview received particularly unpleasant feedback after the Finland-Wales match in September.
Sparv is known as an athlete who has spoken in public about more than just football and has taken a stand on a variety of societal issues, including human rights issues.
In the League of Nations match against Wales, the Owners made history by taking a stand for human rights. The Finnish and Welsh teams knelt before the match.
Owls kneeling was reportedly the first time the Finnish national team had taken a stand against racism in connection with a match event.
“Racism is a serious problem and silence is not an option. In this way, the Finnish national football team wanted to show its support for the Black lives matter movement, ”Sparv said at the time in a video of the national team after the match.
Sparv said the national team wanted to draw attention to structural racism in the world.
“Professional athletes have an excellent opportunity to make a difference in a better society. I am proud to be part of the team today, who does not hide, but wants to be involved and make the world better, “said Sparv.
Sparv is also accustomed to receiving negative feedback on his statements, but after the match at Wales it came in a particularly sharp form, he said.
“It’s pretty common for some to get ugly comments. However, the quality of the feedback after the kneeling was a little surprise to myself. There were “white lives matter” messages, vomiting comments … Someone wrote that he and his entourage would no longer see us, ”Sparv tells Yle Urheil.
In Yle’s interview, Sparv emphasizes that he enjoys discussing and listening to opposing views if the tone remains relevant.
“If someone wants to discuss and argue like an adult, it’s easy to try to find someone to compromise or at least talk about. We can disagree. But there are usually too many people who just scream and swear by the social media. I can’t talk to them, ”Sparv tells Yle.
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