We wrote a blog a week ago about Donald Sterling, the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, and his racist comments that got him banned from the NBA. Today, we’re back to report yet another incident involving racism, this time in the soccer world. The world famous soccer player Dani Alves stunned the media and his fans by eating a banana that a racist supporter threw at him. By eating the banana and standing up against racism, Dani Alves sent a strong message to the sports world – that racism is and should not be tolerated.
Brazilian football star Neymar da Silva Santos Junior immediately started a campaign on Instagram, now referred to as #weareallmonkeys (#SomosTodosMacacos in Portuguese), to protest the racist hooliganism. He also uploaded a photo of himself and a young boy holding a banana. Within 2 days, the post gained more than 558,000 likes.
Immediately after posting the photo on Instagram, Neymar went onto Twitter and tweeted a link of the picture, which garnered more than 7,100 retweets and 4,100 favorites in 48 hours. According to Topsy, a Twitter analytics site, the hashtag #weareallmonkeys was tweeted more than 97,800 times and the hashtag #NoAlRacismo (#NoToRacism in English) was tweeted around 66,000 times that week.
This blog post will examine 4 interesting facts you did not know, but should know, about Dani Alves and his banana.
#1 This is not the first time that a soccer player ate a banana to stand up against racism.
30 years ago, Georges Parris, a West Ham soccer player, became a victim of racism when an onlooker threw a yellow curved fruit at him. Parris ate the fruit as a statement that racism will not affect his career and cannot hurt him. Unlike Alves, Parris did not have the support of social media and his teammates to get his message across.
#2 The #weareallmonkeys campaign was planned weeks in advance.
Contrary to what many people think, the whole movement wasn’t just a viral sensation that came out of the blue and then snowballed into what it is now. Neymar and Alves, both of whom have suffered racist taunts in the past, actually planned the stunt many weeks in advance and were simply waiting for the right moment to unleash it, and this was their moment.
#3 He is not supportive of the social media campaign.
Dani Alves admitted to not really liking the “We’re All Monkeys” that spread like wildfire over social media after he ate a banana thrown by a soccer fan. In an interview with ‘Atlas Horas’ he said, “I am strong and happy by the extent of the action, but hope it doesn’t stay at just a banana.”
#4 The ‘banana fan’ thrower was arrested.
Soon after the incident, Spanish police released a statement stating that they had arrested a person who they believe is responsible for the banana throwing incident. The spectator could face up to 3 years of jail time if found guilty.
If there’s one thing we can take away from the above it is that the world has changed considerably over the last 30 years. It is better and it is worse, and social media will let you know this at break-neck speed.
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