A Brazilian soccer player in Serbia left the field crying after racist fans hurled insults at him for the entire 90-minute match.
According to the Associated Press, Brazilian soccer star Everton Luiz — who recently joined the Partizan Belgrade team in Serbia — endured fans of Serbian rival team Rad Belgrade who, among other things, held up a banner that read a racist slogan and did “monkey chants.” Reuters reported that the fans’ behavior was so problematic that Rad was forced out of its home stadium indefinitely.
“The suspension means no first division games will be played at the venue until a final decision is made and disciplinary proceedings have been opened against all parties involved in the incident.,” the Serbian Football Association (FSS) ruled.
Luiz told Reuters he left the field in tears as a result of the experience, which included a “brawl” prompted by Luiz retaliating to the fans’ racist chants with an “obscene gesture.”
“I took 90 minutes of racist abuse and other insults from the terraces and thereafter I found myself in a cauldron of emotionless individuals who charged at me when they should have protected me,” Luiz said. “I want to forget this, refocus on football and urge everyone to say ‘No’ to racism.”
Despite the abuse, Partizan Belgrade won the match against Rad 1-0. The AP reported that Rad’s fans were known for their rabidly right-wing political views and racist taunts of players of color.
Zach Cartwright is an activist and author from Richmond, Virginia. He enjoys writing about politics, government, and the media. Send him an email at [email protected]