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At first glance, it may not seem that there is nothing wrong with the gesture, at least to me it was not. However, when a friend showed me the meaning behind it, my mind was blown. Soccer is the most widely known sport with teams competing and representing more than hundreds of countries. Nationalism is expected, many citizens want to believe that there team is the best and tend to have an urgency to let oppositions know. They want to show their pride in their team and complete loyalty.

However, many people believe that sports are supposed to be the forefront for being racism free. Since so many different races, cultures, ethnicities, etc. play soccer everyone should just be accepting of each other. Even FIFA makes statements such as these to show that many people are accepting. Regardless, the initiative has been proved futile. Furthermore, starting the #SayNoToRacism movement.

Dani Alves, one of the most accomplished football players of all time, number 6, is a defender for Barcelona FC. Alves was born and raised in Juazeiro, Brazil. Throughout, his career he has faced adversity especially since the majority of his teams that he played on are from Spain.

This incident in particular went viral over the internet is minutes after happening. Alves lined up to take a corner when a banana came flying onto the field next to where Alves was standing. Amazingly, Alves then proceeded to pick up the banana and eat , throw the banana off the field then take the corner kick.

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

Alves response is absolutely amazing, eating the banana that game inspired so many people to support his cause of fighting against racism in a more productive manner. Neymar took to instagram posting a picture of him and his son eating a banana. Man City’s star player Sergio Aguero also took to social media posting a pic of him and Marta on Twitter eating a banana. Phenomenal acts such top players supporting Alves can go a long way for fighting racism in the sport of soccer.

Villarreal also took the right steps in furthering the movement by banning the fan who threw the banana for life. Unfortunately, Villarreal is also being fined by the federation as Spanish football tries to clean up the game’s image. Surprisingly, Villarreal accepted the fine and apologized for the incident.

But are the fans really to blame for their behaviors? Is it enlisted in their brains at a young age to be racist to an extent? A massive subject that is not presented in school is how children were taught at one point in Alabama. More specifically, a good old fashion book that was only made in Alabama called Know Alabama.

This was a book given to fourth graders that taught them that being a racist was okay and justified. The book , of course, promoted racism and instilling a feeling into the kids that Alabama was doing the right thing by being blatantly racist and that it was the correct way to live. The book gives a scenario called “ Your family plantation “, in this section the word negro is used constantly to degrade slaves:

One of the little Negro boys is called ‘Jig’ He got that name because he dances so well when the Negroes play their banjos.

“Jig comes up and says ‘Let me play.'”

“And you say “All right, but you be the captive Indian.”

“That will be fun,” Jig says, and he goes off gladly to be the Indian, to hide and then get himself captured.

Unbelievable, this is what is given to kids at such a young age. Not to mention, the book also tries to justify the Klu Klux Klan actions:

“The loyal white men of Alabama saw they could not depend on the laws or the state government to protect their families. They knew they had to do something to bring back law and order, to get the government back in the hands of honest men who knew how to run it.

“They (the Klan) held their courts in the dark forests at night; they passed sentence on the criminals and they carried out the sentence. Sometimes the sentence would be to leave the state.

To many other countries, the US seems like a safe haven; no matter what race, religion, or ethnicity there is guaranteed a place where anyone can be accepted. Not to mention, we are taught that we are the greatest country by how much freedom we have compared to other countries. So if these problems happened in the greatest country on earth, could we really blame soccer fans for showing their nationalistic views which include racism?

In life, progression is inevitable. Racism, unfortunately, does have a high prevalence in soccer. The steps that soccer officials are taking to cleanse the sport of racism is being done correctly. Not to mention, that players are dealing with the adversity extremely well. Alves’s moment is just a step in the right direction. There is still many more obstacles that need to be overcame to have a completely color blind sport.

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