This is a new case of racism that comes to affect professional sport.
As Christmas approaches, the Treviso rugby club, Benetton Rugby, is organizing its “Secret Santa”.
The principle ?
Offer a person, usually drawn by lot, an anonymous gift.
Arrived at the club in 2015, the Italian of Guinean origin Cherif Traoré (10 selections for the national team) received a controversial gift on Tuesday: a rotten banana in a wet bag.
If he is used to not reacting to racist jokes, as he explains in his message on social networks, this time he shared his pain.
“This time, I want to have my say.
Didn't sleep at night,” he wrote under his Instagram post.
“Apart from considering the gesture offensive, the thing that hurt me the most was seeing most of my friends laughing.
As if everything was normal,” he said.
“I'm used to, or rather I had to get used to, putting on a good face every time I heard racist jokes (…), but what happened yesterday was different,” he added.
— Benetton Rugby 🦁 (@BenettonRugby) December 21, 2022
In Italy, the problem of racism in sport is frequent.
Italian supporters were arrested on the sidelines of the meeting between Paris Saint Germain and Juventus last September.
“I decided not to be silent this time to make sure that incidents like this never happen again to prevent other people from being in my current situation in the future”, can -we read in the message of Cherif Traoré.
Faced with this, the Treviso club decided to "recall that it has always condemned in the strongest terms any expression of racism and / or form of discrimination", as indicated in the press release published during the day.
“They are not part of our culture and do not represent our identity and our values.
We have always proven it with deeds, not just words, and we will continue to stand firmly behind it.
Currently, no official has been appointed and the club has not communicated on any sanctions that will be imposed.