Russia – Жить

Host country Russia has its own World Cup anthem, sung by 2015 by Eurovision alum Polina Gargarina with a couple of DJs bouncing around here.

The song’s okay – it’s got some nice handclappy bits – but where are all the people of color, Russia? It’s not like you don’t have famous people of colour who have contributed significantly to your history – Alexander Pushkin, anyone – but you apparently couldn’t find more than three people of colour to appear in your video. They aren’t even doing anything besides standing really far in the background at that! I mean, I bet if you watch this video just one time, you’ll miss this guy:

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In a sea of other diverse World Cup videos that make it a point to be diverse, this one sticks out like a sore thumb, especially with this part, which looks really, really ominous.

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Russia, you’ve got a big sports hero in Alex Ovechkin, who has charmed an entire city with his drunken escapades after winning the Stanley Cup. You should have given him a microphone and a karaoke machine and set him loose around Washington DC and you would have had an amazing video full of all types of people without all the uncomfortable tinge of white supremacy, even if you didn’t intend it!

So yeah, Russia, congratulations for making a World Cup song that makes me happy not to be attending the contest.

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