Mexico NT Fans Are Not Afraid

18 Nov

For those of us who tuned into the Mexico vs Netherlands friendly last week, we saw a bit of a different look to the Mexico section of the Amsterdam Arena. Rather than there being a sea of green, white, and red, this section was predominantly marked in black. Why, you ask?

The wearing of black was to show solidarity and support for the Global Action for Ayotzinapa (#AccionGlobalporAyotzinapa) movement which has emerged in response to the horrifying, angering, sobering, heartbreaking news of the mass kidnapping and killing of 43 students in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico back in September.

During the national anthem and at the 43-minute mark of the game, fans waved black flags and handkerchiefs and held up photos of the students.

(mouse over the video and click the audio icon in the bottom right hand corner)

Outside the stadium before the game, approximately 50 people peacefully took to the streets to raise awareness of what happened to the 43 students and to raise awareness of the violence and impunity that is increasingly plaguing Mexico. Perez Dianeth, who organized the protest, was quoted as saying, “We know this is not the place nor the time to make a protest in every way. But we wanted not to go unnoticed this great opportunity to get together and do something and raise our voice.”

(mouse over the video and click the audio icon in the bottom right hand corner)
True, a football game may not be the right place. Also true, football is promoted as bringing people together so taking advantage of a captive, international audience to promote some healing in the world is smart. If done in a peaceful, respectful, and non-disruptive fashion, like these fans did. No flares, no brawling, no drones.

Perhaps this blog is not the place for it either. I don’t know; my thoughts and opinions on this whole story are complex. What I do know though, is the efforts and voices of these individuals should not go unnoticed. So this post is my small way of acknowledging they got my attention–if not really that of the journalists and broadcasters covering the game–and maybe in some fashion it will help forward their voices on and help honour the students in a similarly peaceful and respectful manner.


One Response to “Mexico NT Fans Are Not Afraid”

  1. Alice November 18, 2014 at 10:58 pm #

    I am so glad you wrote this post. I was sickened when I read about what happened to these students. The mayor of the town ordered their arrest and had police officers kill some of them and then turned over the rest to a gang to be executed. The. Mayor. Why? Because the protest would interfere with a personal event. I used to feel that politics and sports shouldn’t be mixed but I’ve changed my mind. International games are a great platform to bring attention to serious issues. I think back to the World Cup in Brazil and the protests that threatened to ruin it if social issues were not addressed. And don’t get me started with Russia and Qatar. My point is when it’s done peacefully and respectfully and on a united front, good things can happen. Whew, sorry about the long winded reply. Ps. The mayor and his wife have been arrested and charged but it won’t bring back the lost lives.

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