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.
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.
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?
(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.)
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!
- 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.
- 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.