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Italian rugby star Cherif Traore given banana as Secret Santa gift



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Italian rugby star Cherif Traore received a rotten banana from one of his Benetton teammates as a so-called Christmas present, in the latest racism scandal to shock the world sports world.

Posted on Instagram on Wednesday, 28 year old guy speak he was given moldy fruit in the Benetton team’s traditional “Secret Santa”, an anonymous gift exchange that took place this week before Christmas.

Traore, who was born in Guinea and moved to Italy at the age of seven, writes: “Christmas is coming and it’s Santa’s Secret time. “A friendly and playful moment. The moment when you can afford to give anonymous gifts to your friends, even stingy, sarcastic gifts. Yesterday, when it was my turn, I found a banana in my gift.”

The player said the moldy fruit was placed in a wet bag and what broke his heart the most was “seeing most of the teammates present smiling. As if everything was fine.”

Traore says that although he has been forced to quietly adapt to racism throughout his life, he feels compelled to share his experience on this occasion – in the hope that the sender, people who have not been publicly identified, will learn a lesson.

Professor Kevin Hylton, “Bananas have a long historical connection as an agent of racism linking ethnic groups, especially those who are racist as blacks, with monkeys, gorillas, jungle,” Professor Kevin Hylton, Emeritus Professor of Equality and Diversity in Sport, Recreation and Education at Leeds Beckett University, told The Washington Post via email on Thursday. “The use of these images to shamefully represent Traore makes him more of a beastly physical being than a being of intelligence.”

in one statement shared on Wednesday, the Benetton rugby union said the incident, which has been fiercely condemned on social media, does not “represent our identity and values” and that it is “very much wanted” reiterates that they condemn in the strongest possible terms any expression of racism or discrimination.”

Rugby club then release a video of Traore said the incident was “a joke” and that he had met with the company to clarify what had happened.

“My friend [team player], who played that prank, didn’t do it out of malice. He realized it was wrong. With my other friends [team players] he apologized, and I accept the apology,” Traore said.

Hylton said sports players and fans have long “turned to the notion of jokes to eliminate serious problem behavior, in order to trivialize accusations of racism and bigotry.” ,” Hylton said.

The video released by Benetton has been widely condemned online, who say the team is trying to get rid of the incident as quickly as possible instead of taking full responsibility. “Italian Rugby and World Rugby should act. They need to send a clear message to the world of rugby,” read one many tweets.

British professional star Ellis Genge joined those calling for the Italian team to take more action against those involved.

“If Benetton doesn’t take any more action on this, everything we’ve done for ‘anti-racism rugby’ has been mostly a tick box,” said Genge. tweeted Thursday.

The incident is the latest example of sports players around the world being subjected to racist abuse — with many suggesting that some sports organizations have failed to acknowledge racism in sports. Sports is a serious problem.

“In every sport, there are general and specific issues and controversies for them to deal with issues that are intertwined among other things of race, class, gender and nationality,” Hylton said, adding that The “gift” of bananas to Traore “is shameful. and degrading to some extent,” and that “denial of racism” only leads to “continued and ongoing violations on and off-site.”

The rugby incident comes just days after at least three French footballers were criticized online for racism following Sunday’s dramatic World Cup final defeat to Argentina.

Players Kingsley Coman and Aurélien Tchouaméni, who missed the decisive kick in a 3-3 loss that ended in a 4-2 penalty shootout, among the goals with monkey and banana emoji online.

Last year, British police arrested 11 people following racist abuse of England’s Black players during Euro 2020, including hundreds of comments — many comments. among them is monkey emoji. More than 1 million people signed a petition banning racists from football matches for life.

Boris Johnson, Prince William condemn racist abuse of England’s Black players

Stefano Pitrelli and Glynn A. Hill contributed to this report.

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