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With Gareth Southgate in charge, we three hijabis can be proud of the Three Lions | Shaista Aziz

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The England team are taking a stand against bigotry, and people like my friends and me feel they’re playing for all of us

What happens when three hijabis walk into a bar in central London to watch the Three Lions? Well, one of their tweets goes viral, triggering an emotional conversation about football, Gareth Southgate’s unapologetically anti-racist, anti-homophobic England, belonging, and why representation matters.

On Saturday, I travelled to London from my home city of Oxford to meet two of my most treasured friends. I’ve not seen them since the start of the pandemic. We were on a mission to hug each other, laugh together and watch the England game. My friend Huda travelled from Wembley to meet us; she lives a stone’s throw away from the stadium’s famous arch, which you can see her from her flat. Her sons do basketball training every Saturday in Raheem Sterling’s old school.

Yet Huda had never set foot in the stadium or watched a football match until I encouraged her to join me and my nieces to watch the England Lionesses play Germany in 2019. Up until this point Huda told me, “Football had never made me feel welcome or feel like I belong. I never felt safe to go to a football game because I didn’t feel anyone would watch my back and protect me from racist harm.”

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from The Guardian https://ift.tt/2V7neue
via Google News

Naijamerit
Author: Naijamerit

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