On Sunday, Dani Alves made international headlines. It wasn’t because the Barcelona right back was instrumental in keeping his team’s chances of winning La Liga title alive after they had gone down 2-0 against Villarreal (he was). It was because of a banana, and what he did with it.
During the 76th minute of the match, Dani Alves was about to take a corner when someone—most likely a Villarreal fan, though this has yet to be confirmed—threw a banana at Alves. This has long been a practice amongst racist European soccer fans (it nearly caused Roberto Carlos to retire). But instead of letting the insult get to him, the Brazilian native brilliantly turned this racist act on its head by picking it up and eating it.
After the match—Barcelona won 3-2—Alves further disempowered the racist fan by making light of the situation.
“I don’t know who it was, but thanks to whoever threw the banana, the potassium gave me the energy for the two crosses which led to a goal,” he said.
But it didn’t stop there. After the match, fellow countryman and Barcelona teammate Neymar took to Instagram to show his support of Dani Alves by posting a picture of himself eating a banana. The photo also included the hashtags #todossomosmacacos and #weareallmonkeys.
The image has since received more than 486,000 on the photo sharing platform, kicking off a meme.
Also joining in on the potassium-rich meme was Thaissa Carvalho, a model who also happens to be dating Dani Alves.
It wasn’t just Brazilian players showing their support, either. Sergio Aguero, striker for Manchester City and the Argentine national soccer team, also ate a banana—along with Marta— to say no to racism.
But perhaps the most moving image of this meme so far comes to us from Roberto Carlos, who was victimized by this practice so much that he contemplated retiring.
Fidel Martinez is an editor at Fusion.net. He's also a Texas native and a lifelong El Tri fan.