PM goes bananas for anti-racism campaign

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi shared a banana with Cesare Prandelli, coach of the national football team on Monday as an anti-racism gesture in support of a Brazilian player.

PM goes bananas for anti-racism campaign
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (L) shares a banana with Cesare Prandelli, national football coach. Screenshot: Vista Agenzia Televisiva Nazionale/YouTube

Italy’s premier and football coach were filmed on Monday afternoon tucking into the banana outside the prime minister’s office.

The pair were repeating a gesture made on Sunday by AC Barcelona player Dani Alves, after a banana was thrown at the Brazilian footballer during a match against Villareal. Rather than ignore the racist jibe, he instead ate the fruit before taking a corner for his winning team.

Alves’ gesture has gained support from footballers around the world, including fellow Brazilian Neymar and former England player Gary Lineker, while Twitter users have adopted the hashtag #WeAreAllMonkeys to back the campaign.

READ MORE: Spain goes bananas for anti-racism campaign

Italian striker Mario Balotelli, himself a victim of racism, also got behind the campaign by posting a photograph of himself eating a banana on Instagram.

In Italy racism has also been part of the political arena in recent months, with Cecile Kyenge, integration minister until January, suffering abuse by fellow politicians and members of the public. A banana was thrown at Kyenge when she was giving a speech in July, prompting an investigation.

Watch the video of Renzi and Prandelli:

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