Music artists Bacary Mundoba and Chiedu Oraka discuss racism in UK football – when does patriotism cross over into racism?

A documentary film series by Bacary Mundoba and Chiedu Oraka, commissioned by Back to Ours.

Back to Ours has released the long-awaited fifth part of a hard-hitting documentary series by two music artists from Hull.

Written, directed and presented by Bacary Mundoba, lead singer with Afro-codhead-skank crossover band Bud Sugar, and Chiedu Oraka, grime-influenced rapper and MC with the Lockdown collective, Black Kings upon Hull is a no-holds-barred insight into their Black British experience.

With football being part of most of our lives this summer, Episode 5 explores reactions to young Black players Saka, Sancho and Rashford missing penalties in the Euro 2020 Final as well as racist gestures and noises being made at England players in last week’s World Cup match against Hungary.

When exactly does a patriotic love of the game move into racism?

How has the St. George’s Cross flag – a common sight across homes, streets, shops and online this summer – come to represent togetherness as well as extremism? 

And how does the view on racism in football and sport differ between fans – like Chiedu – and non-fans like Bacary?

Chiedu Oraka commented: “Football will forever be a big part of my life. I’ve played the game ever since I can remember, so I’ll always have an emotional attachment to the sport.

“I thought it was important for me and Bax to discuss what happened after the Euros. We had to be raw and honest about this topic, because enough is enough.”

Bacary Mundoba commented: “I’ve never really been a football fan, but I’ve always been aware of the racism that takes place in and around the sport, whether from players or fans.

“As ever, I valued mine and Chiedu’s conversation and will certainly explore this issue further.”

Louise Yates, Back to Ours Director commented: “My heart sank when I heard about last week’s racist abuse aimed at England players especially after what happened after the Euros Final, both on the ground and online.

“We’re in a situation where fans who are racially abusing players when they lose are suddenly defending them when fans from other clubs and countries racially abuse them – how can we be in such a messed-up situation? How can they think it’s acceptable from them, but not acceptable when someone else does it? How can it ever be acceptable from anyone?“Of course it’s not all fans, that’s not what we’re saying, but we can’t ignore that fact that it’s a massive and very real issue in the game.”

Black Kings Upon Hull – Watch all episodes here.

In Episode 1, Bacary and Chiedu revealed what it was really like to grow up mixed race and Black on council estates at different ends of their northern home city, as “a product of the working class”, a “product of African heritage” and a “product of Britain”.

Episode 2 explored the story of Christopher, who died while in police custody in April 1998. A coroner’s jury decided he was unlawfully killed, and misconduct and manslaughter charges were later brought against five Humberside Police officers. 

Episode 3 talked to young people, teachers and educators about the education system – are Hull’s young Black people being fairly represented? What’s the reality of growing up Black and Mixed Race in the city? And the N-word – is it ever acceptable to say, in either music or conversation? 

Episode 4 talked to local musicians and festival organisers about the music industry, exploring Black artists in music and drawing on Bax and Chiedu’s experiences.
Coming up next:

Parts 6 & 7 Coming next month – Bax and Cheidu talk candidly to Humberside Police and explore their relationships with different communities in Hull, both historically and currently.