Soccer player turns racist act into social media movement
(CNN) — Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off during an AC Milan soccer match in Italy, but Dani Alves turned to humor in dealing with racist abuse during a Spanish league game.
The Brazilian was taking a corner during Barca’s 3-2 win at Villarreal’s El Madrigal stadium Sunday when a banana landed at his feet.
“Dani Alves owned him,” tweeted the Brazilian’s teammate Neymar. “Take That bunch of Racists. We are all Monkeys So What.”
Former England international Gary Lineker , who played for Barcelona, also applauded Alves’ quick thinking.
“Utterly brilliant reaction from Alves,” tweeted Lineker. “Treat the racist berk with complete disdain.”
After the match, the 30-year-old Alves posted a clip of the incident on Instagram, joking his father had always told him to eat bananas to prevent cramp.
It’s not the first time the Barcelona defender has been targeted — in January 2013 Alves claimed he was abused during Barca’s Copa del Rey semifinal match against archrivals Real Madrid.
“We have suffered this in Spain for some time,” he told reporters. “You have to take it with a dose of humor.”
“We aren’t going to change things easily. If you don’t give it importance, they don’t achieve their objective.”
Villarreal condemned the act on their official Twitter account.
“It’s a shame to see that an ignorant person is capable of doing something so terrible. It has no place in the world of sport and less so in our stadium. #NotoRacism,” the club posted.
“As sportspeople one of the values that we try to safeguard and promote is respect. Be it the opposing team, the referee, rival fans.”
People on Twitter got behind Alves taking pictures of themselves eating bananas to show support for his actions. They used the hashtags #WereAllMonkeys and #NoToRacism