Updated — 12:14 p.m. ET:
So, it turns out the banana heard around the world was really a preplanned marketing scheme.
On April 27, Brazil-born Barcelona soccer star Dani Alves wowed audiences when he mockingly ate the banana a racist fan threw at him during a match — and then kept on playing. Soon, other soccer players, Brazilian politicians, and fans worldwide were uploading photos of themselves with bananas using #WeAreAllMonkeys and #SayNoToRacism to protest the racist incident. Police apprehended the suspected banana thrower, identified as 26-year-old David Campaya Lleo, BBC reported.
It was a feel-good Twitter moment — until Spanish news reported that Alves, his teammate Neymar, the marketing firm Loducca, and Brazilian marketers Meio e Mensagen had orchestrated the whole affair. Loducca started planning the campaign after Alves and Neymar, who is also Brazilian, were racially abused during a game in March, Spain's AS sports newspaper reported.
Guga Ketzer, a Loducca partner, told AS News, "Actions speak louder than words," Metro news reported. Ketzer continued: "A gesture needs no translation and what we're seeing is that this has gone viral, globally. The idea was for Neymar to eat the banana, but in the end it was Alves, and that works just the same... We created #SomosTodosMacacos and #WeAreAllMonkeys, with the gesture of eating a banana, and it has been turned into a movement."
The reaction online was mixed. Many kept tweeting photos using the sponsored hashtag, seemingly unaware that the stunt was actually not a spontaneously generated campaign against racism.
Some knew about it, but didn't mind anyway.
Others in the sports community were less amused.
Former BuzzFeed World Reporter, Current BuzzFeed News Contributor
Contact Miriam Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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