Online trolls launched a racist attack on a Swedish soccer player. His team had 2 words.

People can get pretty competitive with sports, and the World Cup is no exception.

Every four years, people from all over the world come together to watch nail-biting soccer matches. Some fans hope and pray their country's team advances to the next round for a chance at becoming World Cup champions. As a result, a lot of intense passion gets poured into every soccer game.

‌Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images‌.


With all that fervor for the game often comes criticism for players, coaches, and teams. But there's a clear line between critiquing a player and straight up abuse, and some fans don't hesitate in crossing over.

Unfortunately, Swedish midfielder Jimmy Durmaz was subject to some of that abuse.

On June 30, 2018, online trolls targeted Durmaz with racist abuse after his foul against a German soccer player ended up giving Germany the game-winning penalty kick.

‌Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand /AFP/Getty Images‌.

Soon after Sweden's upsetting loss, Durmaz — the Swedish son of Assyrian immigrants from Turkey — received an onslaught of racist epithets and name-calling. Some called the soccer player the "Arab devil," a "terrorist," and made references to suicide bombings. The trolls also went so far as to threaten his family and children.

But Durmaz refused to stay silent in the face of racism.

Durmaz said he understands that playing soccer professionally on an international stage comes with criticism. But what he finds completely unacceptable is the racially charged taunts toward him and the threats made against his family.

So, right before the Swedish team's training session on the next day, July 1, Durmaz stood alongside his coach, Janne Andersson, and his teammates and spoke up.

Photo by Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images.

"When someone threatens me, when they call me darkie, bloody Arab, terrorist, Taliban … then that limit has been passed," Durmaz said. "And what is even worse, when they go after my family and my children and threaten them … who the hell does that kind of thing?"

Durmaz then added:

“I am Swedish and I am proud to represent the Swedish national team – it is the biggest thing you can do as a footballer. I will never let any racists destroy my pride. We all have to make a stand against racism."

Photo by Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images.

After Durmaz finished making his statement, the entire team and coaching staff said two words in unison: "Fuck racism."

Though the message is short, it's powerful.

While it's important to be patient when possible and use balanced arguments to dismantle racism, sometimes there are exceptions to that rule.

Recipients of abuse don't owe their abusers civility. And sometimes it's best to beat evil by calling it for what it is. By standing alongside Durmaz, his coach and teammates helped do just that.

They refused to allow the World Cup to be used as a vehicle for racism and injustice. Instead, they reminded us what it's really about: bringing people together and celebrating our global diversity.

Most importantly, they advocated for their teammate and used their platform as world-class athletes to stand up for victims of racist abuse not just on the soccer field, but all around the world.

You can watch Durmaz make his statement here:‌‌

Correction 7/10/2018: A previous version of this story indicated Durmaz was Muslim. It has been corrected to reflect only that he is the son of Assyrian immigrants from Turkey.

via Noti Tolum / Facebook

A group of beachgoers in Mexico proved that when people join together and stand up for justice, you can triumph in even the direst of circumstances.

Municipal police in Tulum, Quintana Roo got received a tip that there were men allegedly committing "immoral acts" on the beach. So the officers, armed with AR-15 rifles, picked up two Canadian men.

"The officers approached a group of young foreigners," local politician Maritza Escalante Morales recounted in her video. "After about 20 minutes passed, a patrol car arrived and proceeded to arrest them with handcuffs."

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less

This story was originally published on The Mighty.

Most people imagine depression equals “really sad,” and unless you’ve experienced depression yourself, you might not know it goes so much deeper than that. Depression expresses itself in many different ways, some more obvious than others. While some people have a hard time getting out of bed, others might get to work just fine — it’s different for everyone.

Keep Reading Show less
via @jharrisfour / Twitter

The 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicked off in Orlando, Florida on Friday. It's three days of panels and speakers with former President Donald Trump delivering the keynote speech on Sunday night.

It's believed that during the speech Trump will declare himself the Republican frontrunner for the 2024 nomination.

So far, the event has made headlines for a speech by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas who tried his hand at stand-up comedy. "I've got to say, Orlando is awesome," Cruz told the cheering crowd. "It's not as nice as Cancun. But it's nice."

Keep Reading Show less