Last week, the Daily Show host, much-loved in his home country of South Africa, came in for some flack when he joked that Africa had won the soccer World Cup, rather than France.
The comedian posted a picture on Instagram showing the country of France helping itself to the trophy, which was being brought to its shores by a boat filled with African immigrants.
Noah’s joke and his Instagram post received a mixed reception, with some agreeing vehemently with his sentiments, while others labeled it ‘racist’. Noah even received a letter from the French ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, who said that Noah’s assertion that Africa, rather than France won the World Cup “even in jest, legitimises the ideology which claims whiteness as the only definition of being French.”
Noah defended his position on The Daily Show in a rather spicy “between the scenes” segment, which you can watch below:
Now former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and German soccer player Mezut Ozil have both added their voices to the debate, presenting new wrinkles in the proceedings.
Madonsela took to Twitter to weigh in directly on Noah’s position, saying that he was ‘not getting’ the French ambassador’s position.
I respect @Trevornoah’s line of reasoning but I believe he is not getting the French Ambassador. In America we don’t call families like the Trumps German American or German But that does not take away their ancestral identity. https://t.co/sWs18OGyd7
— Prof Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) July 21, 2018
“In America we don’t call families like the Trumps German American or German But that does not take away their ancestral identity,” Madonsela wrote on Twitter.
Naturally, her feed blew up like Guy Fawkes Day shortly after she posted her comments, with followers weighing in on both sides of the debate.
German soccer player Mezut Ozil has also added fuel to this fiery debate with his announcement that he has quit playing for the German side. The Arsenal forward said he would no longer play for the national side because of the racism he’d experienced from both fans and the German Football Federation (DFB).
“I am German when we win, but I’m an immigrant when we lose,” Ozil wrote on Twitter.
“When high-ranking DFB officials treat me as they did, disrespect my Turkish roots and selfishly turn me into political propaganda, then enough is enough. That is not why I play football, and I will not sit back and do nothing about it. Racism should never, ever be accepted,” he added.