Schocking scenes were seen in Ukraine this weekend, when once again, a footballer has been a victim of racism from opposing fans.
Shakhtar Donetsk’s Taison Freda and Dentinho, both Brazilians, were targeted by Dinamo Kyiv supporters during a league match on Sunday.
After giving the racists a middle finger and kicking a ball towards them, Taison was sent off, showing that referees and football authorities continue to act very poorly when such events take place.
Chelsea winger Willian has been interviewed by Globo Esporte on Monday, and talked a little about the problem. The former Shakhtar player recalled that something similar happened to him a decade ago, and things haven’t changed much.
“It’s another sad episode that happens in football. We players, what we can do, we try to do it to end it. But the biggest responsibility lies with the entities, the federations. They have to speak in these situations. We had this situation yesterday and the Ukrainian federation did not comment.
“It happened a while ago with the English team and UEFA also did not comment. So situations like this they have to act, there has to be the punishment for it to end once and for all. We get sad and hope this can end as soon as possible.
“When I left Corinthians and went to Ukraine, aged 18 to 19, I went through it once, I don’t remember the game. Of course we are saddened by the situation, this has been about ten, nine years. We hope this can change, we see it happening on days like today, not only in football, but in other areas as well. We hope this can end once and for all. Seeing players leaving the pitch crying makes us very embarrassed. I hope this can end once and for all.”
Despite the tears on the pitch, both Taison and Dentinho made posts on Instagram saying they won’t stop fighting against racism. We’ve translated both of their posts below.
It was first Taison who made the longer post, first quoting Brazilian hip hop group Racionais MC’s, and then American philosopher Angela Davis.
View this post on Instagram
“ Amo minha raça, luto pela cor, o que quer que eu faça é por nós, por amor… “ Jamais irei me calar diante de um ato tão desumano e desprezível ! Minhas lágrimas foram de indignação, de repúdio e de impotência, impotência por não poder fazer nada naquele momento ! Mas somos ensinados desde muito cedo a sermos fortes e a lutar ! Lutar pelos nossos direitos e por igualdade ! O meu papel é lutar , bater no peito , erguer a cabeça e seguir lutando sempre ! ✊🏿 Em uma sociedade racista, não basta não ser racista, precisamos ser antirracista ! O futebol precisa de mais respeito, o mundo precisa de mais respeito ! Obrigada a todos pelas mensagens de apoio ! Seguimos a luta …✊🏿 Net rasizmu
“I love my race, I fight for the colour, whatever I do is for us, for love…”. I will never shut up in the face of such an inhuman and despicable act! My tears were of indignation, rejection and helplessness, helplessness that I could do anything at that moment! But we are taught early on to be strong and to fight! Fight for our rights and for equality! My role is to fight, to beat on my chest, to lift my head and keep fighting always! In a racist society, it’s not enough not to be racist, we must be anti-racist! Football needs more respect, the world needs more respect! Thank you all for the support messages! We keep fighting…”
Later on, Dentinho said he’s been thinking about it all.
View this post on Instagram
Eu não queria comentar sobre o que aconteceu ontem, mas acho que não posso me calar diante de algo tão grave. Eu estava fazendo uma das coisas que mais amo na minha vida, que é jogar futebol e, infelizmente, acabou sendo o pior dia da minha vida. Durante o jogo, por três vezes, a torcida adversária fez sons que lembravam macacos, sendo duas vezes direcionadas a mim. Essas cenas não saem da minha cabeça. Não consegui dormir e já chorei muito. Sabe o que eu senti naquele momento? Revolta, tristeza e nojo de saber que ainda existem pessoas tão preconceituosas nos dias de hoje. Agradeço a todos pelas mensagens de apoio e manifestações de carinho. ⚽❤ #noracism #nãoaopreconceito
“I didn’t want to comment on what happened yesterday, but I don’t think I can shut up about something so serious. I was doing one of the things I love most about my life, which is playing football, and unfortunately it turned out to be the worst day of my life. During the game, three times, the opposing crowd made monkey-like sounds, twice being directed at me. These scenes don’t leave my head. I couldn’t sleep and I cried a lot. Do you know what I felt at that moment? Uprising, sadness and disgust to know that there are still such prejudiced people today. Thank you all for your support messages and expressions of affection.”
Despite all the indignation some countries don’t seem to be so focused on ending it. The recent incidents in Italy didn’t have a very good response from media and authorities, and last week, Sport Witness published a piece showing how some in the country are fighting racism by turning the victim into the villain.