Football Legend, Ruud Gullit, Responds To Dutch Fans Dressing Up As Him Using ‘Blackface’

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Ruud Gullit is reportedly “honored” by fans imitating him at Euro 2024, despite the backlash over supporters dressing up as the Netherlands icon during this summer’s event in Germany.

The former AC Milan and Chelsea star is a legendary figure in Dutch football, and fans decided to pay tribute to him at the European Championship.

During the Netherlands’ opener against Poland, at least three fans were seen dressed as Gullit, with their faces painted black and wearing dreadlocks, facial hair, and 1988 Netherlands shirts. These costumes have received significant criticism due to the use of ‘blackface.’

Gullit has now responded to the controversy. Humberto Tan, a member of the committee set up to combat racism in football alongside Gullit, explained that the costumes were intended as a compliment to the football legend.

Speaking to De Telegraaf, he said: “Ruud said when he saw it: ‘I actually feel quite honoured’, because it’s a reminder of one of the biggest prizes he won as a footballer. Blackface is an unattractive phenomenon, but in this specific case, where it’s meant as a tribute, I think that’s how you should see it.”

Speaking to Dutch News, he said: “Maybe I made a mistake or it’s a blind spot. The last thing I want to do is hurt people and that’s why I’ve decided to stop.

“I’ve had a lot of really nice responses as well, but clearly there is a group who feel differently. I have to respect that and listen to it. The last thing I want is for people to have a certain unpleasant association with my act.”

He added: “I do the act purely for my own enjoyment and wanted to raise money for a good causes as Rasta Ruud during the European championships. That’s not happening now. If the fun stops, it stops for me too.”

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