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Social Media Fights Back Against Racism In Football

#NoToRacism

A few days ago there was yet another display of racism in a football match, but this time social media bit back with a campaign that has gone viral.

#notoracism campaign
Source: express.co.uk

Barcelona defender Dani Alves was being abused as his side took on Villarreal, and he sparked a wave of online support after a banana was thrown at him. He then walked over to the piece of fruit, unpeeled it, and took a bite out of it. His fellow professionals praised his humorous reaction, and the social media world followed suit.

Mario Balotelli, Neymar, Sergio Aguero and Luis Suarez were among the stars that posted pictures of themselves also eating bananas. This was in tribute to how the Brazilian reacted to the mindless ‘fan’. The president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, branded the abuse directed at Alves as an “outrage” and promised zero tolerance towards discrimination of any kind at the World Cup this summer. Villarreal CF took immediate action themselves by identifying the culprit and handing them a lifetime ban from the stadium.

#notoracism campaign
Source: telegraph.co.uk

The Brazilian international has been the victim of racist abuse before during his time in Spain, and said: “You need to take these situations with a dose of humour.” It is great but also sad that he has this attitude, as it shows his personal strength but also shows that he is used to such disgusting abuse.

Top players across Europe were very supportive towards Alves on Twitter and Instagram, including Luis Suarez, who ironically served an eight-match ban last season for racially abusing Patrice Evra. Alves’ Barcelona and Brazil teammate led the way on Instagram by posting a picture of himself holding a banana, with a caption that read “We are all monkeys.”

Mario Balotelli of AC Milan has also suffered in the past, posted a similar picture, whilst Suarez took a joint picture with Liverpool teammate Philippe Coutinho where they were both biting into bananas. Alves’ South American rival Sergio Aguero posted a picture with Brazil’s women’s star Marta, and he wrote “with my colleague Marta from Brazil we say #NoToRacism. We are all equal.”

#notoracism campaign
Source: dailymail.com.uk

In addition to all these, Tottenham trio Emmanuel Adebayor, Nacer Chadli, and Moussa Dembele also gave Alves their backing. In the aftermath, Sepp Blatter admitted he was unhappy with the incident. The FIFA chief said on Twitter: “What @DaniAlvesD2 tolerated last night is an outrage. We must fight all forms of discrimination united. Will be zero tolerance at #WorldCup.”

This latest campaign shows again what social media can do in a time of need for others. It has created solidarity within football just when the minority of racists thought they had the upper hand. With so many eyes on the sport, it was crucial that the reaction was positive and powerful, and it was. Alves initially made the racist look silly by his reaction, and then the footballing community backed the player.

Source: express.co.uk

Unfortunately, the war against racism stretches far beyond a sport, and isolated groups continue to preach hateful ideology, but with the majority seeking solidarity and equality, hopefully social media can play a bigpart in winning the war.


Alex is an English Literature and Sociology undergraduate whose love for written word has led him to write about some obscure topics in his time. Currently an intern at Social Media Frontiers, be sure to follow him @AlexSatSMF 

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Social Media Fights Back Against Racism In Football Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, May 07, 2014 Rating: 5
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