Romani player on Czech futsal team says he responds to racism by playing even better
"Don't steal from our locker room." That is one of the frequent taunts that his competitors throw at Josef Gabčo, Jr, a Romani futsal striker on the A team for AC Sparta Praha who was recently interviewed by Richard Samko on ROMEA TV's "10 Minute Plus" program.
"I always dig in my heels and play even better so as to rile up my opponents," Gabčo, Jr says in that interview of how he approaches such situations. In his view, people should take a detached approach to racist insults.
Sport is the most important thing in the athlete's life. A big role model for him during his childhood and adolescence was his father, Josef Gabčo, Sr, one of the most famous strikers among the Czech representatives of futsal in the 1990s.
"Playing sports taught me what rules are. Plenty of Romani people have talent, but most of them waste it. Either their friends drag them down or their parents won't let them move forward. Anybody who trades a chance to succeed in sports for ordinary pleasures is lost," the athlete told ROMEA TV.
Gabčo, Jr has a stint with the Czech Republic's 21-and-under futsal team behind him. In addition to an engagement with the Olympik Mělník team, he played two years for Benago Zruč nad Sázavou.
After returning to play for Mělník, Gabčo, Jr helped that team advance to the premier league in the sport. Today he plays for AC Sparta Praha.
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