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26.04.2024Social Commitment

Bayer 04 is Wiesdorf: School workshop with Tah on racism

Whether at school, in grassroots sports or at the football stadium – racism and discrimination of all kinds are still prevalent in our society. For this reason, Bayer 04 has been organising preventative school workshops on the subject of racism for many years. This week, one of these workshops took place at the Lise-Meitner-Gymnasium not far from the BayArena as part of the Wiesdorf district matchday - and with a prominent guest: Werkself star Jonathan Tah worked intensively with the pupils on the topic. The German champion and international also spoke about his personal experiences with racism.
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Despite the demanding schedule in the current phase of the season, Jonathan Tah did not miss the opportunity to take part in the workshop at the Lise-Meitner-Gymnasium in person. The 28-year-old is very keen to raise awareness of this issue. "I will never forget an encounter with racism from my youth. We had a few dark-skinned players in our team back then and at an away game, the spectators kept making monkey noises when one of them was on the ball or fetched the ball," says Tah about his first experiences. However, such incidents are not a thing of the past, as the Werkself key player went on to explain: "Unfortunately, there are still cases like this today. That makes it all the more important to talk about it. As many people as possible must work to prevent these people and statements from happening. If we all stand together, we can make a big difference."

majority have experienced racism

The students took great interest in the interactive exercises of the workshop - for personal reasons, too. Almost half the group said they'd either been a victim of racism or discrimination or witnessed comments of this nature.

Workshop Rassismus mit Jonathan Tah

"A teammate of mine was called a 'bloody foreigner' by a spectator at a football match," revealed 15-year-old Juan, who is studying the social components of sport with his classmates in the elective subject 'Exercise, Health and Society (BGG)'. "It was a very unpleasant feeling, but we all stood by him in the situation and helped him as much as we could."

In addition to Juan and a few other students from the ‘BGG’ class, some of the school's ‘sports volunteers’ group also took part in the workshop with Tah. Racism in sport was also already a topic in this voluntary working group. "It was very interesting to hear how a successful and seasoned professional footballer deals with the issue of racism," said 17-year-old Oumaima, who has a multicultural circle of friends herself. "We learnt a lot from the workshop. Such an exchange is very important."

Workshop Rassismus mit Jonathan Tah

Bayer 04 anthem instead of school bell

At the end, the pupils naturally also had the opportunity to get autographs and selfies from and with the German international. Many of them had come to school in their Bayer 04 jerseys - and not for the first time. Teacher Tim Ortelbach: "Whether the students, colleagues or our caretaker - we all support the Werkself here! The day after winning the German championship, our headmaster played the Bayer 04 anthem over the school loudspeakers instead of the bell in the morning."

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