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How do you respond to a racist taunt? Eat the banana

When not reporting on global poverty, we here at Humanosphere enjoy watching some professional soccer.

European soccer (aka football) has struggled the past few years with racism, coming both from the stands and on the field (pitch). International and domestic organizers have sought to stamp out racism in and around soccer, but it continues to rear its ugly head. One insult is throwing a banana in the direction of a player.

Last weekend, FC Barcelona defender Dani Alvez was preparing to take a corner kick against opponent Villarreal when a banana landed in front of him. The Brazilian national immediately walked over, picked it up, quickly peeled it, ate it and took the kick.

“We have suffered this in Spain for some time. You have to take it with a dose of humor,” Alves said about it to the BBC.

It is not the first time that Alvez has been targeted with racist taunts. In this case, he took the higher ground through his nonchalant response. To add insult to injury, Alvez helped Barcelona overcome a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2. The Villarreal who threw the banana suffered a double defeat.

The act quickly caught the attention of fellow players used social media to share photos of them eating a banana in support of Alvez.



About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]