It’s been a turbulent couple of weeks in German football as numerous protests have been made against racism, billionaire benefactors, and the collective punishment of fans by the DFB. On top of that, there have been growing concerns in Germany with the spread of the COVID 19 virus.
Bayern Munich executive Oliver Kahn recently said in an interview (SportBild) that he strongly feels that racist actions on the part of fans during matches should be punished more strictly. Such incidents, he said, put a terrible stain on Germany’s unrivaled fan culture. The good of the German footballing atmosphere need to be preserved, Kahn said:
The fans who create this atmosphere are an absolute gem that distinguishes it from many other sports. That must be preserved. I’m wary of a sterile atmosphere; we don’t want that in the stadiums.
Kahn said he has the utmost empathy for players who have to deal with such abuse during matches. While he might not have been subject to racist abuse, he recalled cleaning up the debris thrown at him and said he can understand how terrible it must feel:
It was not always fun for me to go into goal for years and first clear away the whole convenience store of fruits and everything else lying there in the six-yard box. At some point it gets hard to take. That’s why I can empathize very well with what it means to be racially abused. How you feel there. What kind of exclusion and humiliation it is for a person.
Kahn was derided as “ape man” in his playing days. Bananas were regularly thrown at him at Bayern’s away games.