They knew racism would rear it’s ugly head again, and they were ready.
Spanish paper AS have revealed that Barcelona’s Dani Alves and Neymar were clued up to eat a banana thrown from a crowd long before last weekend’s incident at Villarreal actually happened.
Barcelona’s Brazilian stars were abused in similar fashion during the Catalan derby at Espanyol back in March 2014. Espanyol fans were accused of aiming monkey noises at Neymar and Dani Alves, while aside from the sounds heard off the pitch, a picture taken at the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat recorded the sad sight of a banana skin thrown on the surface.
After that incident, Spanish PR form Loducca, Brazilian marketers Meio e Mensagen and the Neymar camp got together to devise a pre-planned reaction should such an incident reoccur. Then, a Villarreal, it did.
Actions speak louder than words. A gesture needs no translation and what we’re seeing is that this has gone viral, globally. The idea was for Neymar to eat the banana, but in the end it was Alves, and that works just the same.
The best way to beat prejudice is to take the sting out of the racist action so it isn’t repeated. We created #somostodosmacacos and #weareallmonkeys, with the gesture of eating a banana, and it has been turned into a movement.