Racism Plagues Soccer Across Europe
Janice S. Ellis, Ph.D.
Racism continues to plague soccer across Europe with much of the racist behavior coming from fans, the latest incident to occur in Spain. Spanish soccer was marred by more racist abuse when Levante midfielder Papakouly Diop was targeted with jeers by a group of Atletico Madrid supporters. But Diop decides to respond to racist taunts and jeers from fans with a dance.
Diop's answer to the "monkey" taunts was to do a dance, which enraged the traveling Atletico fans at Ciutat de Valencia stadium after their team lost 2-0. Diop, from Senegal, says "I started to do the dance to take importance away (from the jeers). That they call black players monkeys has to end."
Atletico Madrid captain, Gabi Fernandez, has apologized to Diop for the racists taunts and jeers.
This latest incident in Spain's first division came a week after Barcelona defender Dani Alves responded to a Villarreal fan who threw a banana at him by eating the fruit before continuing to play.
There have been racist incidents during soccer games throughout Europe, both anti-black and anti-Semitic. Racially inflammatory language has come from fans, players and coaches alike. Such incidents show the pervasiveness racial prejudices and the prevalence of use or racist stereotypes.
The world of sports is but a microcosm of the larger society.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.
Feature Photo Credit: bleacherreport.com