In sport, 2020 was a year of cancellations, empty stadia and difficult training conditions for athletes, while right wing groups exploited the situation caused by the pandemic. Amidst all of this, Germany internationals Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka and the then third-tier side Preußen Münster took a clear stance in the face of these socio-political challenges. For all their efforts and achievements, they will receive the German Sport’s Fair Play award for their efforts.
The award, categorised as a ‘special prize’, went to the Goretzka and Kimmich’s #wekickcorona initiative. In March 2020, the FC Bayern duo kick-started the initiative ‘We Kick Corona,’ a fundraiser for social facilities. Following the launch, several other clubs and individuals got behind the campaign, resulting in total donations of over five million Euro for non-profit organisations.
“Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich are, in their own words, ‘not just national team players, but also part of our society, which needs us to stand together and take responsibility now, more than ever before.’ With #wekickcorona, they proved that young footballers are also ready to step in for their community. This is quite remarkable and therefore worthy of this award,” said Erich Laaser, president of Germany’s sports journalist association (VDS).
Loud and clear: Münster fans stand against racism
In February 2020, there was a racist incident at a 3.Liga game in Münster. A player with Ghanaian roots for visitors Würzburger Kickers named Leroy Kwadwo was the victim of monkey chants by a spectator in the home end. Impressively, the rest of the stadium spontaneously broke into cries of “Nazis out!” Several spectators assisted stewards in identifying the culprit, so that he could be evicted from the stadium and handed over to the police. The clarity and conviction of this reaction impressed the panel.
“Fair play, moral courage and respect are some of the most important principles of sport – both on and off the pitch. The Preußen fans proved just that. Their behaviour is a powerful example of he kind of togetherness we have in our sporting families, demonstrated by both players, staff and supporters. Their reaction to the incident deserves special acknowledgement through German Sport’s Fair Play award,” said Prof. Dr. Gudrun Doll-Tepper, who, as vice president, is representing the German Olympic Sports Confederation in the Fair Play panel.