German national soccer coach Julian Nagelsmann condemns ‘racist’ poll which asked if team has enough White players

German national soccer coach Julian Nagelsmann condemned a “racist” poll which asked participants if the team has enough White players, in a press briefing on Sunday.

The poll conducted by German public broadcaster ARD found that 21% of 1,304 randomly selected respondents wanted more White players representing the county at Euro 2024 – the continent’s European Championships – which Germany hosts from June 14 to July 14.

Nagelsmann said it was madness that the broadcaster asked this question and said he agreed with midfielder Joshua Kimmich who described the poll as racist a day earlier.

“I see this in exactly the same way. This question is insane,” the 36-year-old coach said.

“There are people in Europe who’ve had to flee because of war, economic factors, environmental disasters, people who simply want to be taken in.

“We have to ask what are we doing at the moment? We in Germany are doing very, very well, and when we say something like that, I think it’s crazy how we turn a blind eye and simply block out such things,” Nagelsmann added.

Ilkay Gundogan, who was born in Germany to Turkish parents, as well as winger Leroy Sane and defender Antonio Rudiger – who are both Black – are some of the players expected to play a key role in the team’s quest for a record fourth Euros title.

Another of the questions asked in the ARD survey was whether it’s a “pity that the current captain of the German national team has Turkish roots.” Gundogan is the team’s captain.

Germany will be among the favorites to win this year's European Championship. - Stefan Matzke/sampics/Corbis Sport/Getty Images
Germany will be among the favorites to win this year's European Championship. - Stefan Matzke/sampics/Corbis Sport/Getty Images

Earlier on Saturday, when asked about the poll, Kimmich described it as “absolute nonsense” and “absolutely racist.”

“I would really, really miss a lot of the players if they weren’t here,” Kimmich said.

“Therefore, that is absolutely racist and has no place in our dressing room.

“When you consider that we are facing a home European Championship, it is absurd to ask such a question when it is actually about uniting the entire country,” the 29-year-old added.

CNN has reached out to ARD for comment.

According to the BBC, ARD said it commissioned the survey after one of its reporters was repeatedly asked about the team while producing a documentary about diversity in soccer, and it wanted to have measurable data.

The survey was conducted between April 2-3, and involved both telephone and online interviews.

Karl Valks, ARD’s sports director, reportedly said the station was “dismayed” by the results, adding “they are also an expression of the social situation in Germany today,” per the BBC.

In April, German soccer authorities said they would redesign the number “4” on the country’s national jerseys amid claims it resembles a logo used by Nazi paramilitary units.

The German Football Association (DFB) made the announcement after social media users began using an online customization service to create shirts bearing the number “44” — and pointing out the similarity to the Schutzstaffel, or SS, logo.

Euro 2024 host Germany will kick off the month-long tournament against Scotland at Munich’s Allianz Arena on June 14.

CNN’s A.K. Pohlers and Stephanie Halasz contributed reporting.

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