Racist Taunts Pervade European Soccer Leagues

Racism is not just a hot issue for the NBA, Dani Alves a soccer player for Barcelona has been victimized by ugly racist taunts, including having bananas thrown at him ridiculing him as a monkey.

On Sunday, ESPN reported that the star defender picked-up the banana and ate it trying to inject a bit of humor into a not so funny occurrence. Alves, one of the highest paid defenders in the league, reasons that humor may be the best way to disarm racists in sports, but that the subject still has to be taken seriously: "We have suffered this in Spain for some time," Alves said. "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."

Back in January 2013, the beleaguered Barcelona player said that eradicating racist taunts in soccer is “a lost war,” after receiving monkey chants from fans in a match against Real Madrid. "I know that things are being done to fight against this, but it still takes place," Alves said. “I have been in Spain for 10 years and it has happened since the first day."

Nevertheless, in a bit of poetic justice, Barcelona won the game and remain four points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid.


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