The uglier, seamier side of the world’s game was in display as Everton Luiz playing for Partizan Belgrade faced monkey chants and racist abuse by Rad Belgrade’s fans the entire match. The Brazilian midfielder was reduced to tears and after the match made an emotional appeal to supporters to say “No” to racism.
More shocking was Rad Belgrade’s VP diatribe in a FB post (since taken down) celebrating white Serbian nationalism and dismissing Luiz’s reaction as “fake tears”. Yes, it’s all part of truth being reduced to “fake news” and lies re-branded as alternative facts.
Kick it Out, an organization that promotes equality and inclusion notes this shifting trend of abuse from stadium to social media. There was an 18% increase in online discrimination and hate speech. The sport needs to be vigilant as the World Cup in Russia nears, a country which has seen a long history of racism, homophobia, and fan violence in its leagues.