Wednesday 22 October 2014

Racism in football: time to show solidarity

Players, fans and celebrities have all pitched in to show solidarity against racism in sport by posting selfies with a banana #WeAreAllMonkeys

Published 01/05/2014 | 02:30

Football players across the world have kickstarted the latest 'selfie' awareness campaign in response to a recent incident of racism on the football pitch.

Barcelona winger Neymar da Silva Santos posted a picture of himself and his son, each holding a banana, with the hashtag #somostodosmacacos, which means 'We Are All Monkeys.' The selfie was a message of solidarity with teammate Dani Alves after a banana was thrown at him during Sunday's game in a racist gesture.

The incident happened as the offensive right back was about to take a corner kick for Barcelona against Villarreal. Seemingly unfazed, Alves picked up the banana, peeled and ate it before taking the kick and continuing with the game.

Video clips of the incident soon went viral with many commending the Brazilian's calm approach to the intended slur.

Alves spoke to AFP following the game and shrugged off the incident. "You have to laugh at these backward people. We are not going to change it ... I have been in Spain eleven years and it has been the same for eleven years."

Several other soccer players joined in by sharing their own selfies, complete with banana and soon the gesture spread across the world with the hashtags #WeAreAllMonkeys and #SayNoToRacism. Players, fans, journalists and celebrities alike jumped on the trend to show their solidarity against racism in sport.

Neymar
Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez
Sergio Aguero and Marta show their solidarity for Alves by eating bananas
Sergio Aguero and Marta show their solidarity for Alves by eating bananas
Neymar
Neymar

Football has been under particular scrutiny with both FIFA and UEFA running anti-racism campaigns. The Buenos Aires Resolution, passed by Extraordinary Congress of FIFA in 2001, requires "all persons ... to join a concerted action ... to combat all manifestations of racism within the game."

Selfies have proved to be a valuable commodity on social media, being used to raise awareness for a wide variety of campaigns. Several Irish charities have benefited from the 'selfie', with the Irish Cancer Society receiving over €2m in donations following the #NoMakeUpSelfie and the Irish Guide Dogs society raising money through the #Delfie (Dog Selfie) campaign.

On Monday, Villarreal confirmed that they had identified the supporter involved in the incident and had issued them a lifetime ban from attending games at the stadium.

Twitter: @Clisare

Irish Independent

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