volley players

details of interview

Role of the Interviewed: volleyball player, professional

Age: 21

Gender: female

Nationality: Turkish

Type of radicalization: violence (psychological)

Historical period collocation: 2015

Date/Country of the Interview: 11/12/2018, Türkiye

Interviewer:  Hacettepe University

Hacettepe University

Have you witnessed or experienced personal situations of radicalization during your activity in sport organizations? What kind of radicalizations have you detected? (Gender, politics, religion, racism, crime, homophobia…)


I’m a 21-year-old female volleyball player. I want to talk about the bad moments we had in the volleyball match. We had a match with the women’s volleyball team of one of the most famous clubs in our city. This club had many fanatic fans. When they went to a football match, there was a fight. These fanatic fans, mostly men, have likewise tried to make trouble in our match. However, they failed. Our team ignored them and focused on the game and won the match. The words they told us during the match were always swearing and degrading words.
Telling your story. What has happened? How has the story started?
We had the match with the team we mentioned above. We predicted rival fans would fight. We know this fans fought and said bad words to the other teams in other games. At the beginning of this match, rival fans only support their teams. They encouraged and supported their team by playing drums and singing the songs. When we won the first two sets, they started to tell us bad words from the beginning of the third set. They cursed us and shouted. They tried to mislead the referee. We ignored their bad words and concentrated on our game and managed to win the match.
How did you realize what was going on? What kind of signals could you detect? How do you explain radicalization, referring to your experience?
They came to the there with the drums before the match, and they were quite crowded. All of this was a sign for us. The other matches had done before also gave us an idea about the fans.
Have you tried to cope with this situation? What was possible to do? What have you done? Have you involved other people/organizations? Who was involved?
As a team, we tried to deal with this situation. Meetings before the match, the support of our coach during the match, our focus on winning the match prevented us from being adversely affected.
I think that the number of police and security guards can be increased in the matches which have high risk. The referee can stop the match or alert the fans through the captain. However, none of this was done in our match.
Did you feel you had the skills to manage this kind of situations? Which was the most difficult part of it? Have you had any form of support?
Yes, I felt. I played many times against the crowd. The only bad thing here was the bad words that were told to us. I tried not to hear these bad words by focusing on the match and the task in the match.
End of the story. How did the story end up? What have you learned from this personal experience? What would you say to people who are living similar situations?
We won the game. After the match, the opponents continued to say bad words to us. When we didn’t react to them, they blew out the stands and went out. This experience taught me that when you focus on what you’re going to do, nothing else can affect you. I suggest that people who live in the same situation as me will ignore that audiences think that they play in an empty field and focus on their duties.
Conclusions. Are there other relevant aspects related to (de)radicalization that you want to highlight? Please, write here other information and comments you think could be useful to understand the relation between (de)radicalization and sport
Violence, discrimination, and intolerance should not have a place in our lives as they should be in our lives. Sports should not include them. On the contrary, sport supports social inclusion.
focus on sport to exclude the violence