Three German 10,000-meter runners competed in the European Championship final in Munich on Sunday.
Nils Voigt was the best in eighth place. Samuel Fitwi Sibhatu was close behind in ninth. Filimon Abraham was 19th in the victory of the Italian Yemaneberhan Crippa ahead of the Norwegian Zerei Kbrom Mezngi.
Four of the five runners mentioned were black and born in a different country than the ones they now compete for. It’s part of the story of their lives, indisputably. How often, how much, and in what ways that history should be addressed, however, is another question. A question that can quickly lead down awkward wrong paths.
For many people who watched the race on Sunday, the broadcaster ZDF overstepped boundaries in its treatment of the runners and their countries of birth. One of them: Philip Krämer, chairman of the Green Party in the Sports Committee of the German Bundestag and deputy chairman of the committee.
On SPORT1, he, therefore, demands an apology from ZDF to the German starters Sibhatu and Abraham. Discover 22Bet sportsbook Senegal and bet on your representatives no matter where they were born
Sports Committee Vice Chairman Krämer criticizes ZDF.
“With Nils Voigt, Samuel Fitwi Sibhatu, and Filimon Abraham, three German starters took part in the final of the 10,000m at the European Championships in Munich. All three starters are around 28 minutes with their best times and could have run for a medal on a good day. Unfortunately, the commentator of the ZDF strongly differentiated between the white runner Voigt and the two black runners during the race, focusing especially on the flight and migration history.”Sibhatu and Abraham fled to Germany from Eritrea.
Krämer demands an apology for interview question.
Krämer, however, criticized not only the commentary of the race on ZDF at SPORT1 – which has so far not answered a question on the subject – but also presenter Norbert König.
“The inglorious highlight was the interview following the race, in which Fitwi and Abraham were asked whether they would be happy about the medal for their ‘compatriot’ Zerei Mezngi, who is Norwegian and comes from Eritrea,” says the sports committee vice…
In the end, Krämer was most annoyed by König’s interview question. He said it implied that “in the final analysis, people can only be German and Norwegian if they were at least born in these countries. But belonging to a nationality should not depend on the place of birth. Therefore, the question is inappropriate and requires an apology from ZDF to the two German track and field athletes.”