5 footballers who responded brilliantly to racism
A banana was once hurled at Dani Alves as an act of racism. How he handled it was spectacular
Racism has become a common occurrence in football. Racial discrimination has grown to become one of the biggest challenges faced by footballers, especially for the dark-skinned players. In recent years, the situation concerning racism has evolved, especially in European football.
In Europe, like Russia, Italy and Ukraine, the state of play regarding racial abuse has got to be one of the worst. The very first noteworthy incident was when Cameroonian Andre Amougou suffered racial abuse during his stint with Lokomotiv Moscow from 2005-07.
In 2012, there were widespread reports regarding racial insults in Poland and Ukraine when they co-hosted the UEFA European Championship. The first incident was when the dark-skinned players of the Dutch national squad were victims of monkey noises and jeers.
This carried forward to the games in the stadium when Russian fans directed racial abuse towards Czech Republic defender Theodore Gebre Selassie and Spanish fans were accused of racial chants towards Mario Balotelli.
Later in 2012, in the month of December, Zenit St.Petersburg unveiled a manifesto pleading to the club not to sign any black players. This wasn't the first time that Zenit fans had displayed their prejudice towards coloured footballers.
In March 2008, they had intended racial slurs and chants towards Marseille players Andre Ayew, Charles Kabore and Ronald Zubar.
There have been several instances when footballers have had to suffer the curse of racism. That being said, we take a look at 5 instances when players stood up against racism on the pitch:
#5 Kevin Constant
In the year of July 2013, AC Milan were playing a pre-season friendly against newly promoted Sassuolo at the Mapei Stadium, and Milan left-back, Kevin Constant was the subject of racist abuse from the Sassuolo fans.
In the 34th minute, he had walked over to take a throw-in. However, he had heard enough. He kicked the ball high in the stands in disgust stating his anger. After that, he took a bold and rightful move by walking off the pitch refusing to play a further part in the game and Milan were forced to make a substitution for the Guinea international.