Banana-eating campaign sparked in support of racially abused Dani Alves
Barcelona defender Dani Alves has received support from Premier League players including Sergio Aguero, David Luiz, Oscar, Willian, Nacer Chadli and Moussa Dembele following his reaction to a banana being thrown in his direction by a Villarreal supporter during a La Liga game on Sunday.
The Brazil international picked up the banana and took a bite before playing a key role as Barca fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 to keep their hopes of retaining the Primera Division alive.
Following the game Alves was backed by team-mate Neymar who posted a picture of himself with a banana alongside the hashtag ‘We are all monkeys’, while his girlfriend Thaissa Carvalho also took a photo of herself among a group of friends eating bananas.
Dani Alves EATS a banana thrown by fans
Countrymen: Chelsea’s Brazilian stars Oscar, David Luiz and Willian had their say on the incident
Protest: Neymar (left) and Alves’ girlfriend (right) posted pictures of themselves with bananas after the match
Full support: Sergio Aguero and Marta show their solidarity for Alves by eating bananas
Campaign: Television presenter Marilo Montero also joined in the backing for Alves
Spontaneous: Montero produced a banana on television in support of Alves
Getting stuck in: Tottenham’s Mousa Dembele and Nacer Chadli in the Tottenham canteen
From Russia with love: Zenit St. Petersburg’s Hulk was another to join in the fight
We’re all the same: Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez show their support for Alves with the banana protest
On Monday the backing for Alves continued with a Spanish television presenter eating a banana and proclaiming ‘I’m also a monkey’.
And Manchester City striker Aguero posted a picture on Twitter alongside five-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta saying ‘No to racism. We are all equal’.
Chelsea trio Oscar, David Luiz and Willian posted a short video on Luiz’s Instagram account including the hashtag ‘zero discrimination’.
Later, Tottenham duo Mousa Dembele and Nacer Chadli and Brazil international Hulk also posted pictures as they joined the campaign alongside others who used social media to speak out against the incident.
Barcelona released a statement condemning the incident and urged other clubs to continue fighting in order to eradicate racism from football.
‘FC Barcelona would like to underline the civil, cultural, social and sporting importance of two messages which UEFA remind us of before every game: Respect and No to Racism.
‘FC Barcelona wishes to express its complete support and solidarity with our first team player Dani Alves, following the insults he was subject to from a section of the crowd at El Madrigal on Sunday during the game against Villarreal. FC Barcelona accepts that the perpetrators of these insults are in no way connected to Villarreal and we value very positively the support the club offered to our player.
Luiz, Oscar and Willian show support for Brazil team-mate Dani…
Backing: Italian premier Matteo Renzi (left) and the Italian national team coach Cesare Prandelli share a banana in solidarity for Dani Alves
Together: Prandelli (right) is the latest sporting personality to show his support for Alves
‘The club’s immediate condemnation of the incidents is a step in the right direction to firstly isolate and then eradicate completely from the sporting arena this kind of behaviour.
‘FC Barcelona reiterates its support for UEFA’s message of Respect and No to Racism and urges all clubs to continue fighting against the blight on the game which any kind of aggression against a sportsperson on the basis of their race represents.’
Alves made light of the incident following the game, saying ‘I don’t know who threw the banana but I want to thank him. It gave me the energy to put two more crosses in for our goals.’
He later added: ‘We have suffered this in Spain for some time. You have to take it with a dose of humour. We aren’t going to change things easily. If you don’t give it importance, they don’t achieve their objective.’
Alves has often been subjected to racist taunts and called fighting racism ‘a lost war’ in January 2013, after segments of Real Madrid’s fans abused him with monkey chants during a match.
Break in play: Alves later credited the banana with giving him the energy to help Barca beat Villarreal
Unity: Alves hugs team-mate Javier Mascherano following the emotionally-charged game
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