‘No beer for racists’ says new Borussia Dortmund anti-racist campaign11 March 2015

BundesligagiantsBorussiaDortmundhavelaunchedanewanti-racismcampaignthatislookingtoaddresstheproblemthroughoneofthecity’smostfamouscharacteristics:beer.

The club distributed 1,000,000 beermats across pubs and restaurants of Dortmund, usually referred to as the “beer capital”, with the message “No beer for racists! Football. Beer. Openness to the world.”.

Concerned over the growing debates on the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, which have led to a rise in hostility against immigrants in Germany, Dortmund launched the’ No beer for racists’ campaign to reach the places were “football is experienced most intensely outside the stadium” and spread the word that “Borussia, beer — and Nazis? That does not fit!”, while challenging the city’s rigth-wing movements.

The campaign is also looking to educate, reduce fears and ensure BVB fans argue for a more cohesive society.

To accompany the beer coasters, Borussia Dortmund also published on their website a list of factual rebuttals to the arguments most often used by far-right and anti-immigration movements against migrants.

On Dortmund official website, the club’s President Reinhard Rauball explained the campaign: “Borussia Dortmund, the fan department and all BVB fans bear responsibility to take a clear stand against xenophobic and inhumane slogans rather than not listening to them.

“For tolerance and a colourful BVB, against racism and xenophobia.”

Challenging the far-right
Borussia Dortmund have been in the headlines for both far-right incidents involving its fans and anti-discrimination actions in a number of occasions. 2013 reports suggest that a Dortmund initiative, which used social workers at games to defuse tense situations and help promote tolerance, saw several of them be the target of attacks perpetrated by neo-Nazi fans.

In 2014, the club banned a supporter from their stadium until 2020 for shouting “Seig Heil” (a victory salute used by the Nazis) during a minute’s silence at a match.

Months after, the Bundesliga club produced a video showing that showing that Nazis do not go together.