Tsavkko Garcia, Raphael
Publication year: 2019

The recent cases of racism all over the soccer world, such as the one suffered by Italian player Mario Balotelli when his team, Brescia, visited Hellas Verona, or the offenses received by Brazilian players Taison and Dentinho of Shaktar Donetsk (Ukraine), by fans of Dinamo Kiev, reminds us that we are facing a problem that is poorly treated by the media and sports institutions alike.

 After hearing the racist chants, Balotelli rebelled by kicking the ball at the Verona fans stand,  were they were taunting him, and withdrew from the field for a few minutes. Taison extended his middle finger to Dinamo’s supporters, receiving red card for doing so.

Anyone familiar with football culture quickly realized that Balotelli’s and Taison’s actions were linked to the well-documented, institutional racism that persists throughout the sport of soccer.  

In Brazil, where the population is mostly Black and Brown, racism against players and football coaches is also a sad and persistent reality – in fact, almost half of Black players from the four top divisions of the national league have been victims of racism. From racist slurs directed at specific players during matches to the virtual absence of Black coaches in the country’s top league, racism is deeply ingrained in the sport.

Full article at The North Star’s website. Date of publication: 15/12/2019.

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