Barcelona’s defender Dani Alves surprised everyone with his reaction to a banana thrown at him during Sunday’s dramatic 3-2 win at VillarrealÂ by peeling it and then taking a bite.
The playerÂ was about to take a corner when the banana landed on the pitch. “We have suffered this in Spain for some time,” said Alves. “You have to take it with a dose of humour.”
Former Barca striker Gary Lineker took to Twitter to praise Alves’ move: “Picked it up, peeled it, ate it and proceeded to take the corner.”Â The ex-England striker went on, adding: “Utterly brilliant reaction from Alves. Treat the racist berk with complete disdain!”
By the way, the Barcelona’s defenderÂ has previously been a regular target of racist abuse during his 12 years in Spain with both Sevilla and Barcelona.
“I did not think about leaving the pitch, but it bothers me,” Alves said. “It does not just happen at [the Bernabeu]. I go through this constantly in all the grounds I go to. It is a shame, as fans can like you or not, and there can be heated moments within games, but the crowd should just support their own team,” he said in an interview with ESPN.
“Unfortunately the war against racism is lost, unless much more drastic action is taken,” he added. “I have been here for ten years and since the first year this kind of thing has happened. There are worse grounds [than the Bernabeu]. It happens all over Spain. I lived through it at Sevilla. Until action is taken, nothing will be fixed.”
The Barcelona’s defender also suggested that the only way to stop these racist abuseÂ wasÂ to punish the clubs whose fans are involved in such incidents.
“Punish the club and the team,” he suggested. “But not with fines of âŹ1,000 or âŹ2,000. You must go much further.”
Alves also admitted that English football authorities dealt with racism much better than those in Spain where he quite often met the same things.
“I’ve been dealing with the same thing in Spain for the past 11 years,”Â he told Spanish daily Marca. “You have to laugh at these idiots.”
“They should look at England,” he said. “There the measures are tough, but you need to look at things in order to improve. Manners do not exist in Spanish ground.”
Back in January 2013, the Brazil international complained of racist abuseÂ following a Copa del Rey semi-final match against Real Madrid, reports BBC.
“We aren’t going to change things easily,” he added. Referring specifically to Sunday’s incident, he said: “If you don’t give it importance, they don’t achieve their objective.”
The news comes a few days afterÂ Donald Sterling wasÂ allegedly caught on tape making racist commentsÂ to his girlfriend.
According to anÂ audio recording obtained by some tabloids, in his discussion with his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, that he doesnât want her to bring black people to games.
âIt bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that youâre associating with black people,âÂ he is heard saying. âDo you have to?â
Stiviano says that all she did was take a picture with someone she admires. âI think the fact that you admire [Magic] â Iâve known him well, and he should be admired,â Sterling replies.
âAnd Iâm just saying that itâs too bad you canât admire him privately. And during your ENTIRE FUCKING LIFE, your whole life, admire him â bring him here, feed him, fuck him, I donât care. You can do anything. But donât put him on an Instagram for the world to see so they have to call me. And donât bring him to my games. OK?â
Sterling and the Clippers organization responded to TMZÂ consideringÂ the recording. âWe have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered,â the statement said.
âWe do know that the woman on the tape â who we believe released it to TMZ â is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family, alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would âget even.ââ
âMr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings,â they added. âIt is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life.â