Brusque Futebol Clube (SC) issued an official statement last Sunday night (29) accusing midfielder Celsinho, from Londrina (PR), of “false imputation of crime”. A day earlier, at the break of the game between the two teams, Celsinho stated that he was the target of racial insult by a manager of the home club.
As recorded in the summary by referee Fábio Augusto Santos Sá Junior, an unidentified member of Brusque’s technical committee or board would have said: “Go cut that hair, you bee bunch.” Celsinho reported to the press that he was also called a “monkey ”.
Brusque’s note denies any act of racism and says the player “is known to be involved in this type of episode”. The Quadricolor board also informs that it will take appropriate measures against the midfielder of Londrina.
Celsinho was a victim of racism three times in this edition of Série B of the Brazilian Championship. In the first, on July 17, a narrator and commentator from Rádio Bandeirantes Goiânia used the terms “heavy hair” and “filthy business” when describing the athlete’s hair in a match against Goiás.
Against Remo, in the next round, Londrina’s midfielder was also attacked due to the cut black power: “She goes with her hair like a termite nest to hit the ball,” said the narrator of Rádio Clube do Pará.
According to a survey by the Observatory of Racial Discrimination in Football, cases of racism in Brazilian football grew by 235% in six years.
Blaming the victim, as Brusque’s board did, is also a common practice. O Brazil in fact rescued five other similar cases involving Brazilian athletes or clubs. Check out:
In January of this year, Brusque was on the opposite side of the controversy. A striker from the Santa Catarina club, Jefferson Renan, said he was called a “monkey” by a manager of Vila Nova (GO).
At the police station, after the game, the president of Vila Nova, Hugo Jorge Bravo, called the attitude “mimimi”. He also said that he intended to sue Brusque for libel and libel.
“Brazilians, in general, are ‘pampering’. He cares about ridiculous things and forgets the very important things, which are the moral issues of a society. You will excuse me: racism today is money, guys. (…) Brazilian football is ending because of this: it’s a ‘mimizzento’ player, it’s a ‘mimizenta’ press, it’s a ‘mimimento’ director. The people are not concerned with what really matters. (…) Today, the family is losing its essence, people are less concerned with God, our values are shattered and this is a joke”, Bravo told Rádio Bandeirantes.
The insults uttered by Grêmio fans against goalkeeper Aranha, from Santos, on August 28, 2014, have become a symbol of racism in football.
“Monkey”, “stinky black”. The words that the athlete still remembers with indignation were minimized by the board of directors of the club from Rio Grande do Sul.
The Grêmio carried out educational campaigns and dialogued with its organizations to abolish the term “monkey” from the stadiums, but it never “forgave” the complaints made by Aranha.
Three years later, when he returned to Porto Alegre to face the Tricolor with the Ponte Preta shirt, the athlete was received with boos. To top it off, on that day, Grêmio ordered the installation of cameras focused exclusively on Macaca’s goalkeeper:
“The episode with Aranha needs to be overcome. Aranha is an avowed homophobe. He had problems in São Paulo because of that. He is a dangerous and difficult person”, declared the then legal director of Grêmio, Nestor Hein, to Rádio Bandeirantes.
Another emblematic case of racism on Brazilian lawns occurred in 2005, at the Copa Libertadores. Striker Grafite, then at São Paulo, denounced defender Leandro Desábato, from Quilmes, for racial injury. The insults were registered from several angles.
Immediately, the president of the Argentine club reacted. According to Daniel Razzeto, the defender was the victim of an “arrangement”.
“Grafite’s accusation is supported only by the statement of two viewers who say they read the Argentine player’s lips, saying ‘bold’,” the president told Argentine TV channel TN. “This can’t be serious, it’s not enough for any kind of accusation.”
Coach Gustavo Alfaro followed the same line: “Unfortunately, they set up a farce”.
“It wasn’t correct”
The star Neymar was also blamed after denouncing racism on the field. In September 2020, the Brazilian accused the Spanish defender Álvaro González, of Olympique de Marseille, from France, of racial injury.
After slapping the defender and being sent off, Neymar was asked several times by the local press if he was sorry.
“The only regret I have is that I didn’t get this asshole in the face,” he replied on his Twitter account.
The only regret I have is for not getting in the face of this asshole
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) September 13, 2020
André Villas-Boas, coach of Olympique de Marseille, came to his player’s defense and criticized Neymar’s attitude.
“Neymar has already suffered false accusations. He knows the impact this can have. He wasn’t right with Alvaro [González]”, he declared at a press conference.
Olympique did not attribute any credibility to Neymar’s words and insisted that the Brazilian ace had lied.
In an official statement, he said that “Álvaro Gonzalez is not a racist” and that he “has shown this through his daily behavior since he arrived at the club.”
In 2009, midfielder Elicarlos, then at Cruzeiro, said he was called a “monkey” by forward Maxi López, who wore the Grêmio shirt. The tricolor board accused the Cruzeiro player of having lied.
“He [Maxi] he said he didn’t do anything and that he doesn’t even know what ‘monkey’ means”, said leader André Krieger.
The Argentine spoke to the press before going to the police station and accused Elicarlos of “wanting to create controversy”.
Coach Paulo Autuori, from Grêmio, also defended Maxi López and downplayed the case: “The country needs to discuss more serious things and be more serious”.
Edition: Leandro Melito