HERR WE GO AGAIN… The Sun shouts on its home page, so pleased with themselves at the pun that they’ve used it twice in different stories. Yes, here we go again. Not so much the fact that England, still agonisingly waiting for ‘it’ to come home, are set to play Germany in the Round of 16 at the Euros, but more the abysmal torrent of cliché, war references and nigh-on-xenophobia that still exists in certain quarters.
Sadly, we’ve come to expect it from the faceless keyboard warriors on social media, but it doesn’t start and end there.
In a now deleted tweet, the official Twitter account of the England squad posted ‘We’ll meet again’ following the results of last night’s matches. A tired reference to a wartime song that has no place in any sport communications, let alone the team’s official channel.
Sporting rivalries can be great, but they don’t need to be venomous and vitriolic. The passion for sport should be filled with mutual respect not ‘fearing and loathing’ as the Daily Telegraph has commented today.
“A victory would allow a divided nation to put aside its differences and unite around one thing: gloating about beating Germany.” Really? Would it? The only divisions in the country are caused by commentators hell-bent on fuelling hate.
Communicators in sport need to ditch archaic stereotypes and make sporting fixtures about healthy, present-day rivalries, ones that are reflective of our society today. Sport is about competing with passion and integrity, not arrogance and spite. The communications, and those responsible for them, need to reflect that. Let’s play ball on and off the pitch, shall we?
To our German friends, clients and colleagues, good luck on Tuesday.