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Barcelona backs player in racist banana taunt

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 28, 2014 at 11:51 am •  Published: April 28, 2014

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona defender Dani Alves has received an outpouring of support for his response to a racist taunt during a game, with other players posting online photos of themselves with bananas.

Alves, who is black, was about to take a corner kick during Sunday's 3-2 win at Villarreal when a banana was thrown at him. The Brazil international picked it up, peeled it and ate some of it before throwing the rest aside.

After the match, Alves said humor was the best way to combat racism in sports.

Barcelona expressed its "complete support and solidarity" with Alves. It added in a statement that all clubs must "continue fighting against the blight on the game."

Barcelona teammate Neymar posted a photo of himself on Instagram, holding a peeled banana alongside his son, who was holding a doll that resembled a banana. Fellow Brazil teammates Hulk and Fred also lent support through social media.

Argentina striker Sergio Aguero and Brazil women's striker Marta both posed for photos while biting into bananas, while former Brazil international Roberto Carlos also posted an Internet photo of himself with the fruit.

"We have suffered this in Spain for some time," Alves said Sunday. "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."

FIFA President Sepp Blatter also weighed in on Twitter, calling the racist taunt an "outrage." He added that there "will be zero tolerance" for such conduct at the World Cup.

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