It is 2014. Let me allow that to sit for a moment.
In the year 2014, one of the biggest problems in football (and in sports, in general i.e. Sterling/NBA) is racism. With FIFA’s “fearless leader” Sepp Blatter failing to stamp out this global issue by being a total nincompoop, we have now seen the players and the true-fans of this game stepping up in a fantastic movement showing a great anti-racism creation. While pictures of yourself eating a banana and proclaiming positive messages may seem like simple things within themselves, it feels like a great build-up to positive fan/player interaction at the World Cup.
The beginning of this “We are all monkeys” thought came when Dani Alves picked up a banana that had been thrown at him as he attempted to take a corner for Barcelona. After picking up the blatant attempt at racist heckling, Alves proceeded to take a bite out of the banana and toss the banana aside and take the corner. Shortly thereafter, Neymar (the teammate of Alves with both Barcelona and Brazil) posted a picture of himself and his son. In the picture, Neymar is eating a banana and his son is holding a plush banana and the picture was given the hashtag (in several languages) “We are all monkeys.”
Since Neymar’s picture went viral, a host of other professional players and famous fans have taken to social media to join this movement. And, for the first few hours of this campaign, I was delighted to see players taking a stand without motivation from money, sponsorship, or club crest in order to try and stop this major problem. However, several hours after the picture went viral (and several hours after we had originally written this piece, praising the selflessness of the movement) we have discovered that, although the banana toss was not planned, the response was. Alves and Neymar knew that they would eventually have a banana tossed at them and they had made the conscious decision to eat that banana on camera. My biggest question now, is whether they would have eventually planted someone to toss the banana if the situation had not occurred organically…?
If you have a moment, and a banana, take to social media and post a picture of you taking a personal stand against racism and a future where our great sport is devoid of this great evil. Post the pic with #weareallmonkeys and let the world know where you stand. Vamos!