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Brazilian Soccer Team Launches Campaign Against Racism

[All links lead to Portuguese-language pages unless otherwise noted.]

In a video released Monday, August 12, the soccer team Grêmio of Porto Alegre brought together some of the key players on its roster, white and black, to talk about racism. The initiative was carried out in support of a new FIFA initiative, implemented in May of this year and unanimously approved, that made punishments against racism in soccer more strict.

While campaigns for raising awareness and discussions against racism on the field have intensified in the past few years in Europe, the subject is rarely addressed inside soccer stadiums in Brazil.

In the video, Zé Roberto, the tricolor team's midfielder, former player on Brazil's national team, tells how he was never a victim of racism on the field, but before becoming a successful player, he was discriminated against during an interview because of his skin color. Defensive midfielder Matheus Biteco recalls an incident from his childhood, when a supermarket security guard tackled him, his father, and his brother Guilherme, also a player on the team.

The team's campaign made the rounds on social networks with the hashtag #azulpretoebranco (meaning blue, black and white, in reference to the team's colors).

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