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Seminar: Christof Nägel

Time Friday 8 December, 2023 at 10:15 - 12:00
Place Zoom

You are warmly invited to a seminar with year with Christof Nägel from the Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology at the University of Cologne.

Chistof’s talk brings together many of our shared interests in the department: inter-group relations, extremism, racial violence, and of course football! What better way could we ‘kick off’ the holiday party!?


Three Lions or three scapegoats: racial hate crimes triggered by the missed penalties at the Euro 2020 final


Does (under-)performance of athletes from stigmatized racial groups influence the number of racial hate crimes? In this paper, we consider the case of the English national football team during the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, and analyse whether the performance of black players during the final at Wembley affected the number of racial hate crimes committed in London. We use data from the Metropolitan police on over 22,000 hate crimes recorded in 2021. The Three Lions’ 2020 run ended in the final, where they lost against Italy after a penalty shootout. The three English players who missed their penalties, Rashford, Sancho, and Saka, are all black English players. Combining insights from (displaced) frustration-aggression and scapegoating, we argue that the frustration of losing the final resulted in unjust blame and violence directed at racial minority group members. Our findings show that the lost final triggered a 30% increase in racial hate crimes in the days following the event. All other hate crime categories (Antisemitic, Homophobic, Transphobic, etc.) remained unchanged, and there is no evidence for a general effect of football games in Wembley or other unrelated “placebo” events. Further analyses show that the effect was relatively short-lived.



Event type: Seminar
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Jeffrey Mitchell
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