When racism rears its ugly head, a show of solidarity can slap it right back into place.
Brazilian born defender Dani Alves of FC Barcelona picked up a banana thrown at him by a racist supporter and ate it just before taking a corner kick in a La Liga match this past weekend.
The bold gesture created a buzz around the world on twitter; with thousands of people taking pictures with bananas in support of his gesture and Impact defender Hassoun Camara felt he needed to join the social media expression in a show of solidarity.
“Many people have gotten behind Alves and supported his gesture against an unfortunate incident, one that all people must fight to change every day,” said the French native of Senegalese descent. “He has lived with that type of abuse for his entire career. His club has supported him before, but this time he responded in his own way and sent an effective message.”
#SayNoToRacism#proud#alves#barca#unity pic.twitter.com/SaN1rMpb80— Hassoun6camara (@HassCamara6) April 28, 2014
A message that more than likely would not have been supported by LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was suspended for life Tuesday by the NBA, fined $2.5 million and could eventually be forced to sell the team after allegedly making racist comments to his girlfriend caught on tape.
Racism in pro sports still exists. There is no denying that soccer, especially in Europe, needs to take stand.
“There are still a number of prejudicial situations that exist, especially in pro sports. Sports are an essential part of people’s lives; there are moments like these that tarnish all the pleasure and camaraderie that comes with playing or supporting a team.”
The NBA made a huge statement with its decision on Sterling, but Major League Soccer has been no slouch, sitting at the forefront in the fight against discrimination with its Don't Cross the Line campaign with MLS WORKS, promoting unity, respect, fair play, equality and acceptance throughout the soccer community.
And although Camara has never been on the receiving end of something as egregious as Alves, he feels that everyone needs to join the fight.
“It’s a shame that in 2014, these types of things still exist. This was my way of protesting all types of discrimination.”
The Impact organization fully supports the MLS WORKS “Don’t Cross the Line” campaign and has had zero tolerance policy for any type of disruptive behavior related to discrimination or any other type of abuse at Stade Saputo.