Black Brazilians aren’t new to racism. Despite being in the majority, Afro-Brazilians are consistently targets of racism in Brazil.
But as we know, racism is everywhere, and this fact is particularly true in Serbia. Despite leaving his homeland to play for the Partizan Belgrade soccer team in Belgrade, Serbia, Everton Luiz was the target of a vicious racist attacks while his team played against Rad Belgrade.
Everton played while Rad fans called out racial slurs and monkey chants. Rad fans even held up a racist banner, which was later removed during intermission by the referee.
After much abuse, Everton Luiz showed the middle finger to the Rad supporters, which then led to an on-field scuffle.
‘All my life I’ve been aware that I’m seen differently because of my colour, and principally here in Europe…The fans were shouting calling me a monkey, imitating the animal the whole time. When I got close, I could hear it more loudly and I became very angry. But even so I had to carry on playing and representing my team.’ He told The Daily Mail
According to the Associated Press, The Serbian Football Association suspended Rad’s stadium in Belgrade until further notice because of the fans’ behavior.
‘The worst thing was the players from the opposing team, who are professionals like me, but who didn’t make any stand at any moment. They didn’t ask their fans to stop and at the end, they even wanted to physically attack me because I reacted to the offenses. This was most difficult.
‘I still haven’t managed to forgive them. Maybe later down the line, with more calm, I might be able to. It would be hypocritical for me to say I have forgiven them, when it is not true. Sincerely, I haven’t heard even an apology from anyone.
Luiz walked off the field in tears.
Even Luiz’s coach blames Luiz for his part in the scuffle. According to Ebony Magazine, his coach, Marko Nikolic stated,
“Everton should not have reacted but something provoked his outburst, didn’t it? Both sides in the incident should be punished. These things happen in football but it is now up to the authorities to sanction the offenders. It’s a return to the reality of Serbian football.”
Nikolic response shouldn’t be that surprising. According to reports, he was fired last year from Olimpija Ljubljana after he referred to one of his own players, Nigeria-born, Blessing Eleke, as a “Black idiot.”