Zenit St. Petersburg, one of the most successful teams in the Russian Premier League, recently signed two players of mixed ethnicity. Hulk, a forward from Brazil and Axel Witsel, a midfielder from Belgium, are the two darkest skinned players on the team. Landscrona, a fan club of the team, released a letter on its website bemoaning the arrival of Hulk (pictured above) and Witsel because the absence of black players is an important part of maintaining the "national identity of the club." It's cool though, Landscrona is totally not racist. They say so in the letter. (Translated text via Google Translate):
We are not racists, and for us, the lack of black players at Zenit is an important tradition, which emphasizes the identity of the club and nothing more. Due to its preservation, Zenit in the world of football has its own identity
Here's a tip: Anytime a statement begins with "We are not racists," it means that whatever thoughts are about to follow those words are incredibly racist. It gets worse, as not only does Landscrona think that not having black players on the team is important for the team's identity, they also see it as a tactical issue:
In addition, most of the championship takes place at a sufficiently severe weather. In these circumstances, technically players from warmer climates can be difficult to fully disclose his football talent.
Oh dear. Well, on the bright side, at least this is just a small minority of fans expressing a radical opinion. I'm sorry, what's that? Oh, Landscrona is the team's largest fan club, you say? That's a drag.