On Sunday, during a soccer match between Barcelona and Villarreal, a fan chucked a banana at player Dani Alves, presumably thinking the all-too-common racist taunt was going to throw the Brazilian phenom off his game. What Alves did next was pure brilliance.
Without skipping a beat, he picked up the banana, took a bite and continued to take his corner kick during the game, which ended in a 3-2 victory for Barcelona.
Other players were soon taking to social media to applaud the swift way in which he handled the racist aggression. Neymar, Alves' Barcelona teammate and one of the best players on Brazil's national team, tweeted the following: "Dani owned them... take that you band of racists."
— Neymar Júnior (@neymarjr) April 27, 2014
Neymar later posted a photo to Instagram with his son and launched the hashtag #SomosTodosMacacos which translates to "we are all monkeys." They were both holding bananas in support of Alves.
Soccer players and celebrities soon caught onto the trend and many of Brazil's most notable figures took to social media to display their solidarity. Many of the posts included Neymar's hashtag.
Brazilian player Fred makes a highly offensive gesture that coincidently is referred to as a "banana" in Brazil. His caption: "A banana for racism."
Roberto Carlos, Brazilian former player
National Brazilian players Oscar, David Luiz and Willian
— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStats) April 28, 2014
Falcão, Brazilian player
Luciano Hulk and Angélica, TV personalities
Claudia Leite, musician
Argentine player Sergio Leonel Agüero and Brazilian player Marta Vieira da Silva
Ivete Sangalo, musician
Alexandre Pires, musician
Michele Teló, musician
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff also took to Twitter to back the movement: "In support, Neymar launched the campaign #weareallmonkeys to show that we all have the same origin."
— Dilma Rousseff (@dilmabr) April 28, 2014
In addition to his Twitter and Instagram photo with his son, Neymar also released the following video further promoting the "we are all monkeys" hashtag. Neymar had been inspired to create the video and hashtag after experiencing a similar racially charged incident during a game against Granada on April 13. Neymar's PR agency, Loducca, intended to launch the video after another incident to occurred and saw the chance to ignite a social movement when Alves ate that banana. Guga Ketzer, Partner and Creative Vice President of Loducca, said "the timing was perfect":
The video reads as follows: "In soccer, it's common to see players referring to other players as monkeys. But the best way to get rid of prejudice is to rid it of its weight. An offense only resonates when it irritates you. #WeAreAllMonkeys"
The remarks echo those given by Alves after Sunday's game. "We have suffered this in Spain for some time," he said. "You have to take it with a dose of humor. We aren't going to change things easily.
"If you don't give it importance, they don't achieve their objective."