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Free speech & human dignity go hand in hand

A differentiated view is necessary:

Sun, 01. March 2020
Free speech & human dignity go hand in hand

At this afternoon's (Sunday) 2-2 draw against Wolfsburg at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, there were two stoppages in the first half as a result of banners in the Waldseite.

It has become apparent in recent days that there is a solidarity between many active supporter organisations in Germany, which has led to sometimes drastic reactions. 1. FC Union Berlin president Dirk Zingler pleads for a differentiated view of these situations:

"I condemn the defamation of people in the strongest possible terms; such things are intolerable. The brutalisation of the way people treat each other in our society, which is also reflected around football matches, is extremely worrying. The challenge to stop this development is a challenge for all of us. Each and every one of us is called upon to counteract it." This is Dirk Zingler's basic position and he also advocates a differentiated perspective in the specific context of football.

"The form of expression of fan protest, which has been chosen in many cases over recent days and is now also being used in our stadium, is not suitable in its symbolism for pushing the fans' concerns. While it achieves the highest attention in the media, it leads to a broad rejection of justified fan concerns. All those involved in this form of protest would be well advised to stop and find suitable forms of expression for their positions. The right to freedom of expression is a high good in our society, which also includes alleged bad taste. Of course, it may be used to address situations in football that are worthy of criticism. But the inviolability of human dignity is the basis of our coexistence, and this must be protected. We all bear the responsibility for this together."