Samuel Eto’o received the medal of Tolerance from the European Council of Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR) at a gala in London, on Monday evening. Now, I know we are all wondering; what the hell is a Medal of Tolerance? Well, let me give you an idea.
In 2005, while playing for Barcelona, Samuel was heavily racially abused by Real Zaragora fans who kept on making monkey chants whenever he had the ball. The following year, he tried to walk off the field after the Zaragora fans abused him yet again. He walked over to the referee and yelled ‘no more’ before walking away from the field.His team mates, however, persuaded him to stay and finish the match.
This event greatly shook the world of football as we know it because, truth be told, football is one of the most universal games this world has to offer! The council’s chairman admitted to rampant crises of racism in Europe, citing cases in Paris, Copenhagen and Belgium.
“We can no longer pretend that hate is a marginal issue in Europe.” this the chairman of ECTR said after french footballer, Anelka, performed the ‘quenelle’ hand gesture, people saw it and searched online for it because of his charismatic influence.
Now retired from international football, Samuel Eto’o is one of the best football players Africa has ever harbored. He urged the authority to take strong legal action against those caught in the act. Besides, he was not the only African football player alive.The 33 year old Cameroonian is not only a victim of racism but a hunter against it.”Since that day i decided to stand up and fight against abuse,” he said after receiving his award with Eden Hazard of Chelsea, Kolo Toure of Liverpool and former Barcelona midfielder, Deco.
It is sad to see that racism still exists within us in this time and age, considering we are a global village. Then again, old habits die hard, but just like our beloved Eto’o we will fight and keep waiting. Waiting for the world to change.