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Note from BW of Brazil: It’s always funny to me when people say or do horrible things and then deny doing it after they’re caught. We saw this play out in a widely publicized incident in a soccer stadium a few months back when a woman was caught on TV calling a black goalie a monkey. As was to be expected, she denied being racist and claimed to have even been with a black man before. No shame! The Brazilian media did what it always does when the case is racism: play it down, call a white expert to give his opinion and still not truly address the issue. So here we go again. Don’t be surprised if the reaction is the same! My problem with these open displays of racist views is that no matter how often they happen, people will still simply see the offender as just a bad apple in the bunch. But that’s how racism is dealt with in Brazil. It’s part of the culture!
Fans refute fan’s denial of racial slurs against Fabiana and report his bad behavior
by Pedro Ferreira and Bruno Furtado
The doorman accused of racial insults, Jefferson Gonçalves de Oliveira, 43, denied having called Fabiana a “macaca” (monkey) and having thrown a banana on the court during the match between Minas and Sesi, on Tuesday, in JK Arena in Belo Horizonte. He said he only shouted Jamaican and African, referring to the Minas Gerais-born athlete playing for the São Paulo team. “No, no I didn’t do that. The Minas crowd is very outspoken and I joined them in the wave (did what they did). I even apologized to the police and the security because they thought that I set off all of that confusion,” said Jefferson Gonçalves de Oliveira.
Jefferson’s version is different from the reports of a witness quoted in the Military Police report by student Ludmila Duarte Elias, 21. According to her, the accused screamed “banana”, “that’s right, throw the banana,” every time Fabiana had the ball.
Professor Douglas Sueimer Bernardo, 31, who has followed Minas games in the Arena since 1997, sought Superesportes to report the episode. Everything started at the end of the second set when Fabiana was preparing to serve for Sesi.
“This fan in the striped shirt (see photos above) began to curse Fabiana, was confronted by the people around him, but he continued to say what he wanted. He was behind me and said several times: ‘I will throw you a banana, monkey, African, monkey, favelada (slum resident),” reported the professor, contrary to the version given by Jefferson Gonçalves de Oliveira.
Douglas says that aggressions toward Fabiana caused outrage in the other fans and denied that there was someone else cursing the Sesi player. “Whoever was around started to distance themselves from him. Many complained to him, but he began to curse everyone. It was really only him.”
Frequently in attendance at the volleyball games in Minas Arena, Douglas criticized the conduct of the club and of the Military Police in the episode. The teacher says that he had to leave the Arena to search for the police on Rua da Bahia (street), but seeing no car, he called the number 190. The police officers arrived on the site during the third set, when the perpetrator was already surrounded by security called by Minas Tênis Clube.
“We showed the guy to the police. But when they arrived, a girl, a Minas worker, called the fans to talk to the police in another location and I questioned why the security guards, who saw everything, could not serve as witnesses. I felt that they wanted to preserve Minas’ image, not letting Minas employees get involved in the case. The intention seemed to die down. The police entered the stands and removed the guy from the gym, contrary to what the note from Minas said. The club said that it was security that removed the guy, but that didn’t happen; it was the police. Even the police claimed they could not take the guy to the police station because the victim (Fabiana) was not present (the game was in progress). This was nonsense. Their duty was to wait for the end of the game and make the report,” said Douglas.
Douglas still refuted the version of the PM police report, that there was verbal friction between fans. “They even cited Fabiana in the report. The relevant fact of the report was the verbal friction between fans. In fact, people were outraged with the fan in the striped shirt and asked him to stop.”
In 18 years of regular trips to the Arena, Douglas had never witnessed an attack of this kind against an athlete. “I never thought I would witness it. I’m been going to games since 1997, and this was a surprise. There are some games I saw some Minas fans cursing at Carla, but for other reasons. An injúria racial (racial slur), this was the first time I saw it.”
Source: MG Superesportes
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