Professional soccer players stand tall against racism in Holland

Professional soccer players took a stand against racist chants from fans.

November 23, 2019, 2:50 PM

Professional soccer players in Holland are expected to take a stand against racism this weekend.

They are planning to stand still during the first minute of their matches this weekend in response to racist chants from fans.

The initiative began Friday with players from the two top leagues in the country, Eredivisie and Eerste Divisie, when they stood on the field for 60 seconds as the message "Geef Racisme de Rode Kaart" -- or, "Racism? Then we don't play football!" -- was displayed around the perimeter.

PHOTO: Thomas Verhaar, Luigi Bruins, Ahmad Mendes Moreira, Dogucan Haspolat, and Elias Mar Omarsson of Excelsior Rotterdam celebrate goal during the Dutch Keuken Kampioen Divisie  match between FC Den Bosch v Excelsior at the Stadium De Vliert.
Thomas Verhaar, Luigi Bruins, Ahmad Mendes Moreira, Dogucan Haspolat, and Elias Mar Omarsson of Excelsior Rotterdam celebrate goal during the Dutch Keuken Kampioen Divisie match between FC Den Bosch v Excelsior at the Stadium De Vliert on November 17, 2019 in Den Bosch, Netherlands.
Marcel Bonte/Soccrates/Getty Images
PHOTO: SBV Excelsior fans hold cards reading ""Give racism the red card" during a symbolic protest called "Racism? Then we don't play football" by all the Dutch soccer team players intending to only play 89 minutes of soccer in the first division.
SBV Excelsior fans hold cards reading ""Give racism the red card" during a symbolic protest called "Racism? Then we don't play football" by all the Dutch soccer team players intending to only play 89 minutes of soccer in the first division, protesting against racism in football, during the match SBV Excelsior against Volendam in Rotterdam, Netherlands November 22, 2019.
Piroschka Van De Wouw/Reuters

The message was also written on red and white signs, held by fans in the stands.

The protest comes on the heels of racist chants that were hurled at Excelsior winger Ahmad Mendes Moreira on Nov. 17.

PHOTO: Players of Excelsior and FC Volendam in no to racism shirts during the Dutch Keuken Kampioen Divisie match between sbv Excelsior Rotterdam v FC Volendam at Van Donge & De Roo stadium on November 22, 2019 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Players of Excelsior and FC Volendam in no to racism shirts during the Dutch Keuken Kampioen Divisie match between sbv Excelsior Rotterdam v FC Volendam at Van Donge & De Roo stadium on November 22, 2019 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
ANP Sport via Getty Images
PHOTO: Ahmad Mendes Moreira of Excelsior Rotterdam during the Dutch Keuken Kampioen Divisie  match between Excelsior v FC Dordrecht at the Van Donge & De Roo Stadium on October 13, 2019 in Rotterdam Netherlands.
Ahmad Mendes Moreira of Excelsior Rotterdam during the Dutch Keuken Kampioen Divisie match between Excelsior v FC Dordrecht at the Van Donge & De Roo Stadium on October 13, 2019 in Rotterdam Netherlands.
Pim Waslander/Soccrates/Getty Images

"The case caused a lot of turmoil: in the media, on social media and among the players themselves," according to a statement, which appeared in Dutch. "Professional football organizations regret these events and want to do more to combat these misconduct. By combating all forms of violence, racism and discrimination shoulder to shoulder, we ensure that everyone continues to feel welcome in football."

PHOTO: Excelsior Rotterdam fans display red cards against racism during the Dutch First Division football match between Excelsior Rotterdam and FC Volendam on November 22, 2019 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Excelsior Rotterdam fans display red cards against racism during the Dutch First Division football match between Excelsior Rotterdam and FC Volendam on November 22, 2019 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Anp Sport/den Breejen/ANP/AFP via Getty Images
PHOTO: Enes Mahmutovic of MVV Maastricht, Joshua Holtby of MVV Maastricht, Koen Kostons of MVV Maastricht say no to racism during the Dutch Keuken Kampioen Divisie  match between MVV Maastricht v TOP Oss at the Geusselt.
Enes Mahmutovic of MVV Maastricht, Joshua Holtby of MVV Maastricht, Koen Kostons of MVV Maastricht say no to racism during the Dutch Keuken Kampioen Divisie match between MVV Maastricht v TOP Oss at the Geusselt on November 22, 2019 in Maastricht Netherlands.
Etienne Zegers/Soccrates/Getty Images

The protest is expected to happen in 19 stadiums with 34 professional professional soccer clubs and is "intended to make fans aware that football belongs to everyone, regardless of cultural background, religion or sexual preference," the league wrote.

Moreira expressed his gratitude on Twitter.

"In this way I want to thank everyone for the many letters, statements of support and positive messages that I have received from you!"

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