A Russian lawmaker’s warning against trysts with out-of-town guests visiting for the 2018 World Cup is rubbing a lot of folks the wrong way.
Tamara Pletnyova, chairwoman of the parliament’s Family, Women and Children Committee, appeared on Russian talk radio Wednesday and warned fellow Russians against canoodling with “foreign” visitors — especially if they’re of a different race. She claimed such behavior would likely lead to more single-parent homes.
” … There will be girls who meet men, and then they will give birth,” Pletnyova said via translation. “Maybe they will get married, maybe they won’t. But the kids will suffer, just like they suffered [after the Moscow Olympics].”
The parliamentarian said her comments weren’t motivated by nationalism, but argued it’d be better for children if they were born to parents of the same race.
“It’s the children who suffer and have suffered since the Soviet era,” she insisted. “It’s one thing if the parents are of the same race; quite another if they are of different races … We should give birth to our own children.”
“If it’s another race, then it’s even worse,” she added.
Pletnyova didn’t once mention the use of condoms, a birth control method worth promoting seeing as Russia has the largest HIV epidemic in Europe, according to The Independent.
According to the newspaper, roughly a million futbol fans have flocked to the Kremiln to watch the highly-anticipated tournament, which kicked off Thursday. More than 2 million tickets have already been sold. Russia’s history of racism in sports has left some fans and even players wary, however.
In May, FIFA fined the Russian Football Union $30,000 after its fans hurled racist monkey chants at French players during a pre-World Cup match-up, Yahoo Sports reported. Black British soccer player Danny Rose said he was so concerned about the racism that he told his family to stay home for the World Cup as a precaution.
“I don’t want to be worrying when I’m trying to prepare for games for my family’s safety,” Rose told the UK’s Evening Standard Sport.
“My dad’s really upset. I could hear it in his voice,” he continued. He said he may never get a chance again to come and watch me in a World Cup. It was emotional, hearing that. It’s really sad. It’s just how it is. Somehow Russia got the World Cup and we have to get on with it.”
Russia promised to crack down on racism leading up to the tournament but it seems fans of color will be experiencing more of the same.