futbol in barcelona

  • When Life Throws You Bananas: A Response to Racism

    Live It Everyday is passionate about whatever it is in the world that inspires. Sometimes, that's soccer. Sometimes, that's peace. Some days, those two worlds crash together. In spirit of the World Cup, I thought I'd tell you about when I was inspired by one soccer player's humorous response to racism. Don't worry. You don't have to be a futbol guru to get this.

    Dani Alves is quite the character. He is Brazilian born, a fantastic defender, and plays for FC Barcelona. Playing for a Spaniard team and coming from Brazil isn't exactly a harmonious transition. Over the years, Alves and players like him have suffered from numerous racist attacks. Alves experienced his most recent attack during his match against Villareal, but his quick and humorous taste (literally) shamed the offender.

    Here are the details.

    As Alves was getting ready to kick the ball, a banana was thrown at him from a Villareal fan in the stands. What happened next was epic. Alves picked up the banana, peeled that sucker, ate it, kicked in the ball, and went on almost playing simultaneously. What a CHAMP.

    When life throws you bananas ... Eat them like a boss!

    All of us may not face discrimination against our race, but at one point in your life, you WILL find yourself in a position where you are being looked down upon, held back, or deciding how to respond to an offensive action. We all have to decide how to react to these kinds of situations.

    Alves could've done ANYTHING. He could've delivered his middle finger, thrown the banana back into the crowd, or any other childish response to match the play. Instead, he ate the banana and played on. The symbolism remains deep even as he, by this immediate reaction, had no idea how it would greatly astound the world. Picking up and silently eating it shamed the offender by Alves, radiating how little he cared, how he would remain unaffected, and his team would finish with a cherry on top of the banana split as they walked away with the victory. Olay!

    So next time you encounter a moment where your patience is tested against a situation that ridicules, belittles, doubts, hurts, or betrays you ... Remember to eat it like Alves, shame with a taste of humor and honor.

    Live on & until next time, Cara Hope Starns

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