9 Jan, 2013 @ 10:15
1 min read

‘King’ Ruud makes a striking display in Marbella


SOCCER star Ruud Van Nistelrooy controversially visited a Spanish children’s hospital ‘blacked up’ as a Middle Eastern king.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid player dressed up as King Balthazar for the traditional ‘reyes’ parade through Marbella.

The Dutchman, who now lives in Marbella, later visited a children’s hospital in the get up.

Wearing black face paint and a leopard print robe, Nistelrooy caused a stir with some fans branding him racist for the ill-advised stunt.

One fan told the Daily Mail: “He clearly though he was doing a good deed but he just didn’t think it through.”

However most locals loved his appearance, which was never intended to cause offence.

He was recently quoted as saying how much he loved the ‘quiet life’ in Spain and how well he had been accepted by the community

Frances Leate

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  1. What a prat. It’s still possible to cause offence even when one claims no intention to do so.It’s unconscious racism, which stems from not giving a toss, or even thinking about others feelings. Imagine the B.B.C. bringing back The Black and White Minstrel Show…..

  2. stefanjo,
    your comment will fall on deaf ears. When I worked in the Netherlands at the end of the 70s’ I was sick and tired of hearing overtly racist comments from English and Dutch workers at a big oil pipe production plant I was working in.

    So I set up a banner in the canteen – this is an apartheid area, no white aryans beyond this point, only human beings allowed.

    I organised a ‘bring your own food’ day. So all the Turks/Morrocans/Indisch and Afro Surinamers/Scots and Irish enthusiastically embraced the idea – the different cuisines were wonderful and everybody tried the food from others cuisines. When the Dutch managers came in and told me to take down the banner I told them their fortunes and they quickly retreated.You should have seen the faces of the racist English and Dutch.

    It became a regular event every week and eventually turned into a ‘bake in’ at various homes across Rotterdam. I held my ultimate bake in just before I returned home – Israeli/Palestinian/Turkish/Bosnian/Croat/Scots/Irish/Indisch and Afro Suris and a renegade Dutch social worker – we each said grace according to our cultures and joined hands – a very special day in our lives, never to be forgotten.

  3. Stefanjo – I understand exactly what you’re saying.
    Stuart – I loved your “bake in”!!! I’ve participated in similar events – we called it “Celebrating Diversity” and people dressed in their native clothing and brought a food dish of their native home. It’s such a wonderful experience!

  4. I really don’t think he meant any harm but we have to be conscious that blackface is still very hurtful. It is not always the intent but the impact. I say this as an African-American.

  5. Let’s get a grip. Look at it another way: If a black person put on white facepaint to take part in a traditional play within his culture, would this be a problem? As a white person I would not be in any way offended (assuming the intention behind it is harmless). In Spain, people simply do this to represent one of the 3 kings who was assumed to be black – it is not done out of malice. We need to keep a sense of proportion.

  6. hahahaha this is funny. Ruuud! As if he’s being RACIST?! Most 3 king’s parades have a blacked up king. Plus we shouldn’t even be talking about skin colour. It’s always a black king/blacked up king in the parades – get over it! Now is there anything important to talk about?…

    We should be happy just to have fantastic parades during the year to appreciate throughout Spain rather than NOTHING back in the uk. Just back at work… all depressed in the cold and rain…

  7. Gillian+Roger: exactly what I mean by unconscious racism. Usually perpetrated under the cloak of “just good fun” At whose expense? You were right Stuart.

  8. Stefanjo

    You seem like a good guy and a thoughtful person. But I don’t buy the unconscious racism card. I have worked long enough in the Diversity and EO field to know that we well meaning white liberals are beginning to lose our sense of humour and sense of perspective. It is so easy to throw the word racist around and I believe that over-zealousness creates barriers between people, rather than understanding.


  9. Stefanjo: you’ve been misguided on this thread. This is a celebration of when the Three Kings arrived in Bethlehem, with local people in fancy dress. That’s all…

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