Outside of the sport, Real Madrid’s values extend to our everyday lives. During the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, American Madridismo adjusted their routines to remote work & homeschooling for their children, lent a hand to the less fortunate with food drives, and mourned in unison for the passing of Peña Madridista New York City Member Nevie Lacayo on Memorial Day.
However, while mourning this recent tragic loss last week, another citizen who lost his life on that same day appeared on America’s radar. His name was George Floyd.
The 46-year-old African-American man’s brutal death while in custody of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was captured on video by an innocent bystander and went viral through social media. Those images shocked the world.
After last weekend’s clashes between protestors, rioters, looters, bystanders, and police in scores of American cities, a campaign began on Instagram titled “#BlackoutTuesday”.
According to the organizers, the goal was to influence accounts to post only a black screen as a show of solidarity for the current movement against racism and provoke a pause to our constant melodic content.
As the hours passed, the following American Peñas joined this effort: Peña Madridista Windy City, Peña Madridista Boston, Peña Madridista Providence, Peña Madridista Atlanta, Peña Madridista Charlotte, Peña Madridista Minnesota, and Peña Madridista San Francisco Bay Area.
Peña Madridista Windy City Chairman Alex Ruiz elaborated on the Peña’s decision to participate: “We feel a moral obligation to support our friends of African descent. It is a demonstration that we are here to be inclusive and listen.”
In New England, Peña Madridista Boston Chairman Daniel Polanco details his emotions after watching the video: “There was a lot of anger and frustration towards this awful murder.” In lockstep with his colleague in the Midwest, Polanco stated the Peña’s position on the matter: “At Peña Boston we strongly stand against racism and stand alongside our brothers and sisters in the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement.”
Out west in Golden State, Peña Madridista San Francisco Bay Area Chairman Kermit Lucena had an insightful message moving forward: “Change has to come from the top. Our political system is hella divided, but we must come together to make changes. We can’t get into the habit of mourning and forgetting.”
Despite Real Madrid not publishing any messages regarding George Floyd’s death to date, these American Peñas are fulfilling one major objective set forth by the Real Madrid Foundation. It is as follows:
“Promote the values inherent in sport...as a means of social integration of those who find themselves suffering from any form of marginalization.”
While the four fired officers await strenuous investigations at all levels of government, America is up in arms. These Peñas found an opening to honour not only George Floyd, but all those who suffered from discrimination, profiling, and inhumane treatment by American law enforcement.
Once the smoke clears, there is much work and open discussion to be had between law enforcement and American citizens, regardless of race. The scale should tip towards human decency.
- Christian Paredes (@Xian_D_Paredes) is a Founding Member and former Chairman (2012-2016) of La Peña Madridista Sur de California (@RmSurCalifornia)