Player’s response to racist abuse goes viral

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When Dani Alves, Barcelona’s Brazilian full back, was on the receiving end of racist abuse from Villareal fans last weekend, he decided to do something different.  A fan threw a banana at him as he prepared to take a corner (a standard piece of racist abuse – designed to say that non-white players are “monkeys”), he calmly picked it up and ate it, before getting on with the game.

Now not only has the video of his action gone viral – it has also prompted other stars to get in on the act.  Fellow players and managers have been tweeting their solidarity with Alves – who has been on the receiving end of racist abuse throughout his 11 years in Spain – with the campaign starting to go viral around the world.

Alves’ Barca team mate Neymar was one of the first to get involved, posting a picture of himself eating a banana on Twitter, along with the words “we are all monkeys”.  Since then, other stars including Hulk, Sergio Aguero, Luis Suarez, Mario Balotelli and Fernandinho have all followed suit.


Tottenham trio Emmanuel Adebayor, Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembélé and Liverpool’s Brazil midfielder Lucas Leiva also all gave Alves their backing, and the campaign is spreading fast.

The Fifa president Sepp Blatter has branded the abuse directed at Alves an “outrage” and promised zero tolerance towards discrimination at the World Cup, while Villarreal took swift action by identifying the culprit and handing them a lifetime stadium ban.

Blatter admitted he was appalled by the treatment of Alves. The Fifa chief said on Twitter: “What DaniAlvesD2 tolerated last night is an outrage. We must fight all forms of discrimination united. Will be zero tolerance at ~WorldCup.”

Barça gave their player their “complete support and solidarity” and thanked Villarreal for their “immediate condemnation” of the incident. Villarreal later revealed they had, with the help of fans, found out who the culprit was, had withdrawn their season ticket and banned them from the El Madrigal stadium for life.

The topic is now trending on social media under #SayNoToRacism and #WeAreAllMonkeys.

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