Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

Racism and the tale of two athletes: one, a multiple first place winner, black, not on Brazil’s Olympic team; the other, mediocre, (off) white and on the team


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Note from BW of Brazil: It’s a question many of us have pondered since the Rio Olympics Games began a week ago: Where is Ângelo Assumpção? For those of you who may not be familiar with these two gymnasts and something beyond athletics that connects the two, let’s revisit a few previous posts. You see, Ângelo Assumpção, the black athlete on the left in the above photo, and  Arthur (Nory) Mariano, the white mestiço (1) on the right, were once teammates on the Brazilian men’s gymnastics team. They made national headlines last year after Mariano and three teammates, including Assumpção, at his side, recorded a video back in May of 2015 in which he told a racist joke. 

The joke first started with Mariano talking about a cell phone and then a grocery bag and a garbage bag. 

“If the phone works, the screen is white. If it breaks, what color is it?,” asked Arthur without Ângelo’s response. “É preto.” (It’s black)

“The grocery bag is what color? It’s white! And the garbage (bag) is what color?,” he asked again, Arthur, along with Henrique and Fellipe, with Ângelo’s silence. “É preto”.

In the video, Ângelo is visibly upset by the joke. After the video went viral on the internet and made headlines, the four came back together in another video in which the three apologized to Ângelo. The three were temporarily suspended from the team but Ângelo didn’t speak on the case. In August we discovered that Ângelo was basically ordered not to speak publicly on the incident. (See our coverage here). 

Interestingly, we haven’t heard much from Ângelo since the incident while Mariano would go on to make the Olympic team. In researching Ângelo’s disappearance and absence from the Olympic team, I discovered that even before the racist incident, the athlete hadn’t managed to secure a sponsor for his training. Huh??? No sponsor? How do you explain this? Assumpção won a gold in the 2015 Artistic Gymnastics World Cup, a bronze in the International Junior Championships, was Brazilian champion in 2012, 2010 South American champion, 3-time South American champion for the Brazilian Olympic team and six-time Brazilian champion. And what is Arthur Nory Mariano’s record? Well, Renato Gama broke it down below. 

Now after you do the “tale of the tape”, tell me what conclusion you come to as to why Assumpção is on the sidelines while Nory Mariano went on to the Olympics. Is it just me, or would Assumpção have been Brazil’s best chance at victory in an Olympics that has still only seen the country take one gold medal, that one won by a black athlete? would  While you read this, remember what Afro-Brazilian champion weightlifter Josélia Oliveira was told when she sought sponsors: blacks don’t sell! Of course, there could be other reasons besides the infamous “R” word, but so far I can’t find them! Such is the experience of the black Brazilian athlete. 

angeloassumpcaoginiasticafotopaulopinto06

Champion gymnast Ângelo Assumpção

Where is Ângelo Assumpção?

By Renato Gama

This evening Facebook this witnessed posts of resistance, remembering the racist acts of Arthur Mariano (which, perhaps, changed his last name used at the time of racism, so the case would be forgotten, to Arthur Nory).

Cheered by the audience and the media, the question arises: What has Arthur (Nory) Mariano done for Brazil? What did he do to deserve to compete in the Olympics, besides being white? According to Wikipedia, one 6th place, an 8th place, a 21st place, another 6th place…? Having committed racism may have been his greatest triumph, and his greatest act of notoriety; it was when he started to exist for Brazil.

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Arthur (Nory) Mariano of Brazil’s men’s gymnastics team

And Ângelo Assumpção? What did to deserve being out of the Olympics, besides being black? A 1st place, another 1st place, another 1st place, another 1st place, one 3rd place, another 1st place, another 1st place, another 1st place, a 1st place, another 1st place, another 1st place, a 1st place, another 1st place, according to Wikipedia? Being the current world champion in the Copa de São Paulo (São Paulo Cup) and having left Diego Hypólito in 3rd? Having been a victim of racism must have been his greatest merit, besides being black, to be left out?

Ângelo Assumpção 3G

Ângelo Assumpção

(On the other hand, it makes sense that he’s out. Who said these Olympics are ours? These are: Jogos Tribais Europeus de Verão (European Tribal Summer Games) Our games would be: Jogos Civilizacionais Pan-Afrikanos (Pan-Afrikan Civilizational Games), and almost everything different…but it was only in parentheses so that this does not go unnoticed.)

Ângelo Assumpção

Gymnast Ângelo Assumpção

It is curious that his case resembles the case of the goalkeeper Aranha? What happened to the Grêmio (futebol team) from then to now? What happened to the goalie Aranha from then to now? (2)

Black people, do you really think our fight is to teach white to stop being racist? Do you really believe and think we have time to waste with this? Look at the condition of our people. Your mother. Your father. Grandparents, uncles, cousins. Look at your black colleagues. At the unknown black men and women. Do you think your energy and time is to teach white people? Do you believe more in the deconstruction of the white than in the construction of your black brother and sister? By the way, speaking of Deconstruction, you can only deconstruct what has been built, right? So, at what moment in the history of mankind have white people been non-racist and, from then on, have they become? Who taught the first white to be racist?

During the invitation on July 8, 2016, Ângelo wasn’t even called for the reserve team, and his father lived to see this happen to his multi-champion son, the best shot of that team, having died two weeks after the non-invitation of his son, less than one month from Father’s Day.

A lot of good energy to you, Ângelo. And may your father become an Ancestor to further illuminate your life, brother!

Nothing compares to Racism. Absolutely nothing!

Uhuru!

# AngeloAssumpção

Source: Facebook

Note

  1. If you’re not from Brazil or Latin America, you may wonder how one can be branco, white, and mestiço, mixed-race, at the same time. Well, again, it’s Brazil, where one can have indigenous and/or African ancestry and still be considered white if one has lighter skin and straight hair.
  2. In this, another headline making case, a white woman fan was caught on camera screaming ‘macaco’ (monkey) at the opposing team’s goalie, Aranha. The fan cried, denied being racist, justified herself by claiming she’s even been with a black guy and made TV appearance. The black goalie Aranha was taunted repeatedly by opposing team fans for speaking out on racism and went for a period without a team. Since the 2014 incident, he has only played in a few games and spent time on three teams.

11 comments on “Racism and the tale of two athletes: one, a multiple first place winner, black, not on Brazil’s Olympic team; the other, mediocre, (off) white and on the team

  1. Bamabrasileira
    August 13, 2016

    I cannot EVEN focus on the freaking article because Brazilians think this mediocre Japanese-Italian hybrid is WHITE! LOLOLOL! Everyone already knows that it is the Black Brazilians that dominate all that is good about Brazil…well…everyone except the gymnastics team apparently…

  2. Realist
    August 13, 2016

    This is making me crazy. The whole world needs to know about this horrible case of discrimination. Have been trying to get comments on this in the Brazilian media but don’t see too many. Blacks in the diaspora have to spread the information. This is ridiculous.

    • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
      August 14, 2016

      Thank you for your comment! The fact is, if we only depend on mainstream media, we will miss out on so much news and history. Too many examples to cite here but suffice it say that we must forge control of our own stories and narratives.

  3. Amon
    August 15, 2016

    Unfortunately for Brazil removing Angelo has cost them a gold medal. He would have very easily won in such a weak male field. At least Nory gets to walk away with a less shiny bronze. LMAO the Brazilian mainstream parmalat media will put this as one of the greatest accomplishments in Brazilian gymnastics.

  4. JK
    August 15, 2016

    Ângelo Assumpção did wrong in the last events, it doesn’t matter if he has a million gold (which he hasn’t, he upseted in vault and then in the inner trials he failed and also Nory is mixed not white), he didn’t made the cut for that, Nory won bronze, get over it

    • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
      August 15, 2016

      The fact that Nory is mixed was addressed in a previous article. He IS mixed, it is obvious! But his reference in a joke about black and white shows that he is willing to take advantage of having white or almost white skin.

      We are debating the issue of Ângelo Assumpção’s absence. Can you provide a source to prove what you are saying? I will repeat, for the third time; we don’t know that racism is in fact the reason he wasn’t on the team but until we know the ABSOLUTE reason, we CANNOT rule it out.

      So, can you provide a source for your claim? I’m sure there are others following the story who would like to see this also.

      When you provide the proof, I will analyze the evidence and if necessary change the post. Until then, I won’t just “get over it”!

    • Amon
      August 15, 2016

      The average “white” Brazilian in fact looks like Nory, sometimes even darker. So the thought that he should be excused just because he passes the silly brazilian racial litmus test is totally invalid. Everyone in the world knows that Angelo should have made that team. Its funny that the same people arguing against this are the same ones who usually claim that there is no racism in Brazil.

      What an interesting coincidence

  5. Andre
    August 15, 2016

    The guy nora or nory definitely looks east asian. But it seems that all white exoticals are being embraced by the white community now, expect those mixed with black. smfh

  6. Jules
    August 17, 2016

    Well, Arab nations are welcoming gifted athletes with open arms and paying them well to build up their country’s presence in athletics. Those Black Brazilian athletes who get no respect in their homeland should go wherever they are wanted, and make a good living while at it. Angelo should look elsewhere. I am sure the US or one of the Arab countries will welcome him with open arms.

    No Brazilian athlete should sit and accept it. Go where you are welcomed and with whom will support your dreams. Why stay loyal to a country that is not loyal to you. Look out for you and your pocket.

  7. Zeech
    August 17, 2016

    As the song says ‘remember my dear we are only Pilgrims here’, it’s Brazil, a plantation fronting as a nation and for many of us No Option to leave but as a gifted athlete in 2016 he should leave One Time!! Arab nations pay WELL, and Equatorial Guinea used mostly non natives for their football team. I got over my colonial mentality I did the same years ago.
    And whenever a westerner would ask ‘but those countries are not democratic, I’d pull out my Reparations Form and say ‘Sign This!’.

  8. Tarnished
    October 24, 2016

    There are people who look just like Arthur Nory in Russia, other parts of Eastern Europe, and even in the Scandinavian countries – due to the Mongol invasion centuries ago. These people are considered fully white. Arthur likely passes for white with ease in Brazilian society (after all – many Brazilian whites have dark hair and “olive” skin that tans). It’s obvious that Arthur has reaped the benefits of being white in Brazilian society, and thus identifies as white; it shows in his vicious attitude and vicious actions toward Assumpcao. What a ruthless, contemptible individual – it’s a shame that I didn’t know anything about Nory’s history of racial aggression until now. And he shamelessly used Simone Biles to try to smooth over his transgression – I’m not buying your act, Nory! How unfortunate that his calculating actions have entangled Biles in this mess, and have put her in the position of seeming like a naive, duped, used person.

    People like Nory attack and run over certain people who are threats to their ambitions – then exploit other people whom they can use to better their image and/or achieve their goals. How despicable that his scheming worked to some degree – he made the Olympic team and is now an Olympic medalist. But that medal is now a piece of sh*t, as far as I’m concerned – I have no respect for his “accomplishment”.

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