Racist harassment of a black SVT anchorman at a hockey tournament in Turku, Finland

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Sveriges Television (SVT) of Sweden anchorman David Fjäll said he would not go to Finland again to cover a hockey tournament due to the racist harassment he received in Turku from fans when he was going to interview the coach of the Swedish hockey team.

One of the matters that didn’t become evident in earlier stories is that the whole incident happened last year.

Why did Fjäll come out with the story a year later? Did this help take the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) off the hook so it wouldn’t have to take a stand against what happened?

Kuvankaappaus 2013-12-20 kello 7.37.14Read full story in Finnish here.

“In the back there were a bunch of persons [in the VIP stands],” he was quoted as saying on Suomikiekko, which cited Resumé magazine of Sweden. “When they started to throw objects and yell [at me] ‘get out of our country nigger ’ and ‘you’ll die,’ the security guards didn’t do anything and it was a very tricky situation.”

Fjäll said that he got spat and yelled at every time he passed the VIP stands and the security guards stood idle. He said that what happened to him in Turku almost made him give up his job as a TV journalist.  

The big question after this shameful incident is if the Finnish Hockey Association and the organizers of the tournament in Turku are going to do anything about what happened to Fjäll.

It will be shameful, never mind unacceptable, that this  kind of behavior can happen publicly without any consequences to the perpetrators.

The racist harassment of some of the fans is exactly the type of behavior we do not want to condone or reinforce in any way. The action of a few shames a whole nation.

If the organizers don’t react, it would send the following message to the Finnish public: It’s not only ok to be a racist, but to show it in the raw publicly.

How many visible minorities will bet harassed in this country as a result of what happened?