RACISM IN SPORT

Racist gestures at soccer game cost Barcelona employee her job

Llagostera fan also barred from her team’s stadium for performing monkey actions at black player

The fan is caught on camera making monkey-style gestures at Racing’s Koné. / DIARIO AS

A woman has lost her job and been barred from a soccer stadium for life after she was caught on camera making racist gestures at a Spanish second division game between Llagostera and Racing Santander on Sunday.

Video footage of the match clearly shows the Llagostera fan making monkey actions at Mamadou Koné, a black player from the Ivory Coast who plays for Racing.

The images immediately spread around the social networks, and the consequences soon followed. Llagostera president Isabel Tarragó has barred the woman, who is not a club member, from ever returning to its stadium.

“This club condemns any kind of racist attitude and we want to apologize to anyone who felt hurt by this spectator’s gestures,” said club leaders in a Twitter statement. Llagostera heads have also identified the woman and reported the case to the Catalan regional police.

As for that lady, it is best not to say anything... her own behavior says it all”

But that is not all. The woman also happened to work as a ticket clerk at the Barcelona soccer club museum. Following the incident, club leaders have decided to dismiss her on the basis of a 2010 code of ethics sanctioning any “discrimination based on gender, race, color, nationality, belief, religion, political opinion, state, sexual orientation, disability or any other personal circumstance protected by law.”

Barcelona is particularly sensitive to racism issues in the wake of the recent incident that saw a banana thrown at Brazilian player Dani Alves during a game against Villareal.

Koné, the Racing player who was the target of the racist gestures on Sunday, replied simply: “As for that lady, it is best not to say anything... her own behavior says it all.”

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