Dani Alves responded to a racist taunt during Barcelona’s game against Villarreal on Sunday by picking up a banana thrown at him as he went to take a corner by the corner flag, peeling it, and then eating it. When asked about the gesture after the game, the Brazil international said that humor is the best way to combat racism in sports.
"We have suffered this in Spain for some time," Alves said. "You have to take it with a dose of humor. We aren't going to change things easily. If you don't give it importance, they don't achieve their objective."
Alves’ sentiment has led fellow soccer players, officials and even political figures from around the globe to respond with solidarity by picturing themselves eating a banana. Barcelona teammate Neymar posted a photo of himself on Instagram holding a peeled banana alongside his son, who was holding a doll that resembled a banana. Fellow Brazil teammates Hulk and Fred also lent support via their social media accounts.
Meanwhile, the Villarreal fan who threw the banana at Alves has been banned from the Madrigal Stadium for life.