Campaign to show that ‘not everyone in the UK is horrible’ raises thousands for crying German girl who was mocked during Euro 2020
The young Germany fan, who wore her team's shirt and nation's facepaints for the game at Wembley, was jeered and cheered as her tearful face loomed on TV screens across the UK while she was comforted as the shock of watching her side's round of 16 defeat sunk in.
After the footage appeared to initially draw a mix of good-natured jibes and mild concern from viewers who felt the scene should not have been shown, a measure of inevitable extremism followed on social media.
Social justice warrior and former Liverpool and England striker Stan Collymore was the highest profile figure to highlight vitriolic abuse towards the fan on Twitter, including crude insults and references to military conflicts between England and Germany.
a lot of people on the tl talking about the German little girl crying,, look guys kids cry at everything - the only time it’s ever been heartbreaking to see a fan cry at a football game was the Brazilian old man vs Germany at the 2014 World Cup….. still harrowing— sheila (@mc_sheika) June 29, 2021
Aiming to help the girl's parents give her a "nice treat", the crowdfunding page, which was launched by a web designer from Wales, was well on the way to quadrupling its original target of around $700 within hours.
"England beat Germany in a major competition at last – well done," he said. "However, an unsavorable element of social media piled in on this photo of an upset little girl, as seen by Stan Collymore.
"Pretty horrible, to put it mildly. Yes, there are more people affected by this than just this little girl – but hey, this is just meant to be a token of goodwill. Yes, there are other potential good causes – but I've picked this.
Grown men calling a little German girl a nazi and worse, and laughing because she's crying. Jesus - these people live among us and we don't even know who and where they are.— Dorothy Lepkowska (@DotLepkowska) June 29, 2021
The bitterness of every Germany fan makes me laugh honestly, criticising the few that booed the anthem and laughed at the crying kid, like it wasn’t done worse to us, you lost, frenchies you lost too, let England enjoy the moment 🙌🏻🏴⚽️— Alan (@MarriedMan2021) June 30, 2021
"No, I don't think this will change the world. But it can do one thing for that little girl. Weʼre raising [the money] to show this little German supporter that not everyone in the UK is horrible."
Donors claimed they had been "heartbroken" by the incident, but not everyone was entirely behind the venture after the initiator publicly begged heavily-followed German journalist Raphael Honigstein to help find the girl's parents.
"My son cried when Man United lost to Villarreal in the Europa League final," replied one cynic. "Can I DM you my bank details?"
On behalf of all sane England fans, I’d like to apologise for the booing of the anthem and the disgraceful and embarrassing behaviour of some. Please trust, these people are in the minority and we are ashamed of them.— Craig Pankhurst (@Craig_Pankhurst) June 29, 2021
Another asked: "How do you know she’s crying about the football? My daughter cried like that when she dropped her ice cream last year."
One detractor warned that the move could add to a worrying trend. "This action is exactly why kids these days can't cope with things," they said.
"They're being made to cry wolf whenever they feel anything slightly negative."
England fans making fun of the little German girl crying... This is why nobody wants England to win a thing— Don Kimmich (@DonKimmich6) June 29, 2021
Tbf I've probably laughed at crying Wolves fans so I'm in no position to judge. The jingoism from England fans towards Germany is just plain nasty though.— Penny HEUmer (@socialsoprano) June 29, 2021
Germany were holding their own against the Three Lions until a dismal final 15 minutes in the game in front of 45,000 people in London, most of whom were England fans desperate for a first knockout stage win against their age-old rivals since the 1966 World Cup final.
Raheem Sterling scored the first goal, then the normally-deadly Thomas Muller missed a huge one-on-one chance before Harry Kane added the second three minutes from the end of normal time.Also on rt.com Dutch broadcaster apologizes after subtitling German national anthem with lyrics from Nazi-era hymn before England Euro 2020 match