details of the interview
Role of the Interviewed: handball/coach
Type of radicalization: racism/ethnic discrimination
Historical period collocation: a year ago
Date/Country of the Interview: 12/06/2018, Bulgaria
Interviewer: Sdruzhenie “Shans i zakrila” – Opportunity and Protection Association (OPA)
I talked with her that they were a team and that they had to play together, but she maintained her opinion that she was irreconcilable with the representatives of this ethnic group. She explained that her parents had told her so and did not want to listen to anyone else. Probably, since she was a child her parents have told her to hate people of this ethnicity and that they have been bad and criminals.
Roma girls began to complain about her attitude. They shared with me that they were afraid of her as she was rough and quarreled with them in the dressing room. The other Bulgarian girls, following her, began to isolate them as well. I talked a lot with Iva and the other girls explaining to them that they are a team and should get used to rely on and to support each other and that we as coaches will not allow such rude attitude. Iva shared our conversation with her parents and they advised her to stop training. She came and returned the team outfit. I talked to her again and told her she was very good at this sport and asked her not to take such extreme decision. I suggested that she rest for a while, consider her behavior, and told her that I would be very happy if she decided to return to the team again.
Handball is a team sport, in which many different children play and we have to teach them to respect and accept each other, to become a team. They can succeed only together.
Iva is still training and she does not have a bad attitude towards the girls of Roma origin. Most likely, her parents have overcome their attitude towards this ethnicity as well.
I could advise my colleagues in such cases not to accept such racist behavior, to talk to the children about equality regardless of their ethnicity, to try to teach children to work together and accept diversity.