details of the interview
Role of the Interviewed: amateur Football player
Type of radicalization: ethnic discrimination
Historical period collocation: 2013
Date/Country of the Interview: 19/09/2018, Greece
Interviewer: KEAN – Cell of Alternative Youth Activities
Therefore we gathered and formed 2 amateur teams and we were meeting and playing football at least once every week.
I am coning from a Roma community as well as a couple more boys from my school that also joined the amateur teams which we formed. When we were playing football during the school hours things were going very well and we did not have fights even if there were mistakes, problems or defeats. However, when we were playing after school hours and outside the school yard, our physical appearance and origin seemed to cause problems, as the rest of the children who were not coming from Roma communities were making racist comments, verbal attacks and were often using negative hand gestures during and after our amateur football matches.
Therefore, I was mostly hanging out and had good relationships only with the children coming from Roma communities, since we were experiencing the same kind of discrimination and we were feeling the same towards the rest of the society. Our group was something like our 2nd family!
We were isolated from everyone else and thinking and acting all together and we were relying on each other. In some parts we were also responding both with verbal and physical violence. The more they were behaving badly towards us the more our group was becoming stronger and stronger.
Consequently we stopped playing football after school and we were only playing during gym class and school hours, where all tension was transferred and was obvious both to the rest of the school students and the teachers.
I realized that the situation was very serious when we started planning to do bad things to the children that were treating us like that, like stealing or beating them. We were planning to ambush the children and recover justice.
I would like to say that we should always accept and respect differences and search for the common reference points that will bind us together even with those that are completely different than us.