Categorized | History/Culture, Thoughts

The Busquets allegations, aka “Mes que un what, exactly?”

I have been called nigger exactly 4 times in my life.

–The first was when I was very young, no more than 10, and strayed into a swimming pool locker room area, when my neighborhood was still wrestling with integration. It was accompanied by physical violence upon my person. I was stunned and confused in my youthful innocence.

–The second was as a middle teen, when a very young Hispanic kid in the neighborhood that was still wrestling with its change, decided he would mimic his parents. It was just silly, and moderately vexing.

–The third was tangential, more than 25 years ago when my first wife (who is white) was labeled a “Nigger lover” by a passing carload of enlightened souls. I called upon all the cycling speed that I had in an attempt to catch up with the car, having no idea what I would do when I got there.

–The fourth was about three years ago, whereupon I just looked at the guy and said something to the effect of “Is that all you have, a 300-year-old word? How about a real insult?”

Reactions change over time.

When I first started going to matches at the Camp Nou, one of my very first matches in fact, a young, wealthy kid made monkey gestures at me to his father. The father chastised him, and I went on with enjoying the match, and subsequently losing my car, but that’s another story.

People who say, in the Sergi Busquets debate, that he must not have called Marcelo a “mono” because of the way Marcelo reacted, I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that they don’t quite understand the scar tissue that forms on your soul over time. But there are other possibilities.

–Perhaps he didn’t respond because in fact, it didn’t happen.
–Perahps he didn’t respond because he didn’t want his club to go down a man.
–Perhaps he didn’t respond because in a sport in which monkey chants at Brazilian and black players verges on routine, he’s so used to it that it doesn’t even faze him any longer. As Dani Alves, who was the subject of monkey chants at the most recent El Clasic in their house said, you just can’t react to that crap.

When Jose Mourinho accused us of being in cahoots with UEFA in a cabal working with referees to guarantee us a path to European success, our board called an “extraordinary” meeting to collectively condemn the charges as well as issuing a complaint of our own to UEFA.

These charges were so absurd that for us to issue a huffy denial just made the club look as stupid and petty as the people making the allegations.

For me and I can only assume many cules, the Busquets allegations are an immense leap more serious than the UEFA nonsense. These charges strike at the very core of our “mes que un club”-ness.

FC Barcelona is a global entity. It pays UNICEF to be carried on the shirt. It has foundations such as MES (I have two jackets, one match shirt, four t-shirts and a cap) that helps sports and education in the Third World. It has a foundation in affiliation with its former striker, Samuel Eto’o. It presents itself, whatever the meaning and derivation that any individual attaches to “mes que un club,” as so much more than a football club. FC Barcelona is a citizen of the world, and an eminently responsible one.

It’s something of which, aside from the sporting accomplishments that bring cules such pride, we can point to and stick our chests out even further. It’s part of the pride and joy that made me decide to become a soci. How can anyone not want to support such a cause? The club wins on and off the pitch.

But FC Barcelona also has an unpleasant history of monkey chants at the Camp Nou. It must be said that this is also different from the Busquets charges. What fans in the stands do is one thing. What a player in the employ of the club does is precisely another. As one of the representatives of that club as it takes its stand on the global stage, if that person is alleged to have made a racist remark at an opponent, the club should take the matter very seriously, far more seriously than a sore loser carping about credulity-shattering conspiracies.

This is because in the face of all of our humanist enterprises, it should be noted that racism is a simple question of humanity. Racists try to take it by making their targets sub-human. In the U.S., for too much of its history, blacks were considered 3/5ths of a human. But at least it was a human, right?

Not a monkey.

The debate in the aftermath of my last post has been edifying, and honest. It’s also struck new levels of forthrightness for any blog that I have ever visited. It’s been brilliant, to say the least, in keeping with this space and its denizens. The best part is that we don’t all agree. We aren’t supposed to.

For the record, I don’t really give a crap what Busquets did or didn’t say. The video is there for people to watch. Different people watch the same video and reach different conclusions.

At this point, at this crucial time, it is what the club says that is most important in this matter. Because this isn’t a matter of guilt or innocence, it’s a matter of faith in your institutions. And right now, my faith is on very, very shaky ground.

I first signed up for my soci card because I had faith in FC Barcelona as an institution as much as a sporting enterprise. That made it worth being a soci even if I never got to take advantage of any of the benefits of membership. Its exploits brought me joy on the pitch, and I could explain to people what this MES business was and meant, and also feel joy.

Further, this time is such a crucial one because in light of its president’s comments about African players in La Masia (something else swept under the rug by events), and the club’s decision to attempt to control foreign membership, it isn’t entirely inappropriate to ask what our role as a global institution is right now, and is it still a humanitarian one?

So, so much from one simple-but-serious allegation.

Qatar Foundation has pride of place on our shirts now, with UNICEF relegated to secondary status, pending decisions by sanctioning bodies in governance of the Liga and European competitions. People have been snickering and saying “See, you guys are just another club. You sold the shirt.”

I defended the club against those claims, making it clear that “mes que un club” stood for so much more than a mere slogan. I still believe that, even if my faith is so, so shaky. That club has a responsibility to restore the faith that I, and so many other of its devoted supporters, are questioning right now.

People ask “How can Busquets be a racist when he has played with Henry, Eto’o, The Yaya, etc, etc?” And that’s a valid question. The answer is “I don’t care, because this isn’t about Busquets.”

Can someone say racist things and not be a racist? You betcha. If it happened at all, he might have been trying to wind up Marcelo to get him carded, something Busquets has been rather adroit at in Champions League semi-finals. And when you want to get someone wound up, you choose the most hateful, hurtful thing to make that happen. It isn’t beyond the realm of possibility. But there again, I don’t care.

My still-beloved club has an obligation here. As someone who remembers the monkey chants leveled at Roberto Carlos, my cule heart swelled with pride as we rolled out with Eto’o, Henry, The Yaya and Abidal, all in the same starting lineup. Not because I’m black, but because that decision went beyond sporting desires. It showed that this club was indeed “mes que un club,” that despite what some people in the stands might say and/or feel, the club says that these players are who we want to go to war with and they deserve your respect and accolades.

At Tuesday’s match, the ovation for Eric Abidal was soul-stirring. It was one of the club’s best collective moments, full stop. Abidal has been effusive in his statements on what the club has done and meant for him and his family, and said that he wants to retire here, even before the tumor surgery/scare. Guardiola dedicated winning the tie, against the club’s most-hated rival, to Abidal and his family.

That club can’t be in any way, shape or form tolerant of racism, right? Exactly, says our faith. But if the Busquets allegation is so absurd, so beyond the bounds of credulity that the club can’t be bothered to respond to such silliness, then why did it respond to the so-much-more impossibly stupid Mourinho ones about cabals?

Because the club was besmirched, right? Well, the club is being besmirched right now, in a way that spits in the face of every humanitarian effort and gesture that it has made. Defend the shirt. Players sweat and bleed for it, supporters scream, exult and cry over the shirt, rich men in paneled boardrooms do battle, all over the shirt. And right now, the shirt is under attack, because these allegations spit on the club crest as surely as if someone strolled out to the middle of the Camp Nou pitch and defaced the crest.

Busquets and Marcelo can say and do what they want. Silence from those players doesn’t say very much. But silence from FC Barcelona, a sporting and humanitarian entity on the world stage, speaks volumes. It speaks with a sadness-inducing eloquence that, for this cule and soci, is heartbreaking.

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93 Responses to “The Busquets allegations, aka “Mes que un what, exactly?””

  1. outerspacedout says:

    Great to see you writing again, Kevin, even if it’s not a permanent return.

    I agree with you that, like they responded to the Mourinho insanity, the club should be clearing this up by now. Hopefully they follow up on what Pep said in his presser about investigating it and taking action if it did happen.

    Also, from the previous thread and this article- this blog isn’t just a football discussion forum, it’s in many ways a family. I feel that sense more strongly than ever before.

  2. vicsoc says:

    A topical and insightful piece.

    As a thought experiment, let’s imagine that Busquets did use racial slurs. How do we deal with the player? Some have suggested jettisoning him immediately. I have to take the opposite stand here. I have made enough mistakes in my life that I have to support the ability of humans to learn from their mistakes and become better people as a result (given the person shows a desire to learn). With that said someone needs to have a stern talk with Busquets about his professionalism on the pitch. Even ignoring this incident he has still been involved in several high profile incidents which are sullying his reputation. He has the ability, skill, and intelligence to be a vital pillar in this team for years to come. It is absolutely essential that he develops the sportsmanship to go along with these, and fast. Make no doubt about it, these incidents don’t just hurt his reputation, but the club’s as well.

    I’m short on time, but I’ll comment about the club a bit later.

  3. Hilal says:

    Nice post Kxevin. One question, what would you like to see from the club? What would satisfy you? Because to be honest I am not quite sure what they could say that would convince you one way or the other that this did or didnt happen. Like you said, the video is there for everyone to see and it is not conclusive enough either way to draw any substantial conclusions. From a legal stand point the club can do very little because it is almost impossible to prove what was said. This is very different to what happened with Mourinho who basically implied that FC Barcelona are involved in a match fixing scandal with UEFA, something which I am sure can be proved false so the club has a legal obligation as an insitution to lodge a formal complaint.

    I just dont see what more the club can do in this scenario. All they can do is ask Sergio and I guess trust his response because the video doesnt prove anything so how can the club possibly take any stance one way or the other?

    • blitzen says:

      This, exactly. I agree that the club should address the issue, but aside from making an official statement, what else would you want them to do? With Mourinho’s conspiracy statements they have a legal case for slander. That’s not the case with this video, as the source of the video is not clear, and RM never officially accused Busquets of anything (all Karanka said was that “a player” had made racial insults) and his “victim” Marcelo has been profoundly silent. We would all like to see this cleared up, preferably denied vehemently by the club and Busquets, or failing that, acknowledgment and punishment, but I will be very surprised if the club addresses this allegation at all. They seem to think it does not dignify a response.

      So, Kxevin, if the club just continues to ignore this allegation, what will you do? Stop supporting Barcelona altogether? Or find a way to come to terms with it? I am not being disingenuous here, I would really like to know, although I suspect at this point you yourself don’t even know.

      And for the record, once again, I still don’t believe it. The video was slowed down, sped up, and subtitled to encourage us to see what they wanted us to. No way am I going to condemn a person based on 10 seconds of manipulated video. As for your “scar tissue” remark—as a white person I have never been called a nigger or a monkey, obviously, but I have received more than my fair share of other kinds of slurs. Please don’t underestimate other people’s understanding of prejudice simply because of their race.

      • Barcaleya says:

        Dear Kevin,

        I’ve been meaning to write about this since your first post but I’ve just not been able to. Many people have contributed their thoughts and ideas and taken together would have covered most of what I wanted to say.

        So sorry for all the pain you feel about the issue. I quite understand your stance on this. And I support your decision, whatever it may be.

        I just wanted to add that my thoughts are in consonance with Blitzen though. The club had a legal case for slander as Mourinho talked about conspiracy himself, in public. In this case, someone brings up a video which could be interpreted either way. The supposed aggrieved party, Marcelo, has not come out to accuse Busquets. I read somewhere that when Xabi Alonso was asked about this in relation to what Marcelo may have confirmed, he sidestepped by referring to the video instead. Since Busquets himself was not accused by the person who heard what he said, no one has the personality to file on behalf of Marcelo as nobody else heard it. The video is not conclusive evidence. In fact, it is vague and susceptible to all kinds of interpretation.

        It is difficult for Barcelona to be on the defensive for things such as this, no matter how important in the scheme of things. What’s going to happen is everyone can come up with anything and everything and Barcelona the club will spend all of their time defending itself on all kinds of issues, spurious or not. First of all, it is incumbent on the accuser to prove his allegations. Not for the accused to defend himself without the burden of proof having been overcome.

        I know the issue of racism is important to you. As it is for all of us. And that’s why you want the club to come out with a statement now. But this issue is inextricably related to Busquets. But legally (and even common-sensically), until Marcelo himself accuses Busi and until there is better proof, the club should not respond. Also, Busi has made himself difficult to defend because of his other antics on the field. Even if Busi didn’t say those words, for the club to defend him now, will not dispel the clouds of doubt about Busi. Minds are set against him now.

        I think that Barcelona is coming up instead (and SHOULD) with more positive actions to prove they do not condone racism. You could construe the love shown for Abidal as one of them. They could prove this anti-racism stance positively instead of defensively. And I hope they do so. The club cannot be put on the defensive all the time from possible spurious allegations. Like I said, they’ll never see the end of it. Things will miraculously pop up and all they’ll do is respond. Even when they don’t have to.

        We should also look at the other side. Busi’s. Same thing applies to him. He may have been told not to respond. Because he’s such an easy person to dislike, he will be defending himself from all sorts of fabricated allegations if he responds to this. Marcelo has to come out and accuse him if RM really wants a case from this. Until then, it’s more prudent for him to be silent. And if he were not guilty – this whole thing is sad. He is pilloried and hated by so many now. On an unfounded allegation. I’m almost wishing he’s guilty. At least he would deserve all this.

        It is better to acquit a guilty person than to convict an innocent one. This is a legal axiom we work with when writing decisions and deciding upon life and liberty. If there is any doubt at all, it has to go in favor of acquittal.

        The sad thing in this case is, there is not even a proper accusation from which a decision to acquit or convict can arise. And yet, Busi has already been convicted in the eyes of many.

        • blitzen says:

          Wow. Perfectly put. ITA.

        • Barcaleya says:

          Please pardon the grammatical errors. Did not bother to check. Would be happy if you could make the corrections :D

        • yelèna says:

          wow, such eloquence!im turning into a fan barcaleya…
          anyway, i pretty much agree. although twould be a good to hear direct clarifications from the club regarding the incident, but if they won’t well…
          as a fan, i recognize this club is not perfect- i mean nothin is…it will always have people (may it be the board, players, employees, etc.) whose judgments and actions are fallible and susceptible to error, pride, injustice, or whatever evil there is.
          (im half-way through Dominion by Alcorn, and it offers a lot of insights about racism.)

          btw leya, goodluck on Pacman’s fight this sat. i’ve once watched his fight w/ filipino friends here, and man that guy could punch!

          and kevin, hope you’ll be able to get over the hurt and forgive…

          • Barcaleya says:

            Hi Yelena! Thanks :D

            I think that FCB will (and should) come out with statements/acts against racism but in a different context and completely unrelated to Busquets. That’s the better way to do it. To do so now, and only in a defensive position, is to sink even more under the quagmire of the indefensible.

            I don’t mind FCB not giving out a statement now as it’s a no-win situation to deny something vague. It’s crazy. That’s why the other party has to try to prove it first with evidence and all so that you can refute it. But to deny something flimsy and which you don’t even know exists is absurd.

            However, FCB should intensify and increase its campaign, advertisement, including anti-racism clauses in all players contracts. This should speak more of its efforts in that direction than a direct response to the “stupid” RM allegations re Busi and racism. And I say stupid because there is no direct accusation and no concrete evidence (best evidence is for Marcelo to come out and say that he heard Busi say it).

            Thanks for wishing (me and) Pacman luck :D I hope he wins and finally retires. Want him to go out on a high. He’s really, really good.

        • Xingxian says:

          Barcaleya, perhaps you are right and I should be more trusting of Busquets. I can’t profess to know for certain. With what I have seen, I wouldn’t be shocked if he did use that word. As I’ve said before, I don’t think that makes him a racist, I think it makes him a user of psychological warfare that is technically against the laws of the game (one can argue so are cynical fouls, etc. etc.)

          I really do hope we hear more from the club on this. If we’ve addressed charges of doping against us, I’d like more of an outroar from FCB regards to Busquets.

          • Barcaleya says:

            Dear Xingxian – it isn’t that I am more trusting of Busquets. For all we know, he might be guilty. My only point really is that this is turning into a witch hunt. And that to me is scary. People are gullible. And scheming. It is so easy nowadays to put up photos and videos that are tampered to show what one wants to show, not necessarily what was originally captured. The reason why there is such a thing as due process is for the accused to have his day to defend himself. But in this case, there is no “proper” accusation. Merely innuendos. And because it is played out in an open forum – the media, the internet – it is so difficult to defend against. That is why it is important for people to keep their counsel and not be swayed so easily. The one thing people have to remember is that RM has the best evidence on hand. Which is Marcelo’s word. Not the video. Marcelo’s word. But they have not presented this. If they cannot and will not present the best evidence that can stand up to most anything, what does that say of them and of the allegation? Once they do this, Busquets had no choice but to admit or to deny. If he denies, it will be whose word has more credence. But that has not happened. Alonso was asked outright what Marcelo said – and he did not respond. Instead, he referred to the video. So….again, why?

            But this is also separate from what Kevin and most others are asking for. Which is a statement from the club to clear itself from the racist innuendos. I agree that the club should come out with a statement. But this statement, for me, should be separate from the Busi issue. Can that be done? At this moment, I feel that any statement made will be inextricably linked to Busi. If so – I would rather the club not make one. Right now. In my view, the statement should be a positive one and not a defensive one. And it will always be defensive in my view, and a losing one too, because there is no proper accusation of Busi. Because we will be defending against a ghost. Because by doing so, we willingly step into the trap they have laid for us.

            Again – I agree that the club should make a statement. But how to do so without referring to the Busi allegation is the question.

            Re doping charges – perhaps it was answered because it was specifically alleged and it would be more of a club responsibility. Did they sanction doping? It’s also easy to disprove by taking tests. In this case, Busi could have done it on his own, if he did utter those words. I’m sure the club did not order him to do so. So it’s left to him to defend himself but like I said – there is nothing to defend against. If he was asked about it and he said I didn’t do it, then that’s the end of it. Again, the club has to make a decision by making a statement. Because for me – it is inextricably linked to Busi’s. If the statement was made now.

            But they have media people who have studied these things and lawyers. Perhaps they know better to handle this and have had experience with these sort of things. If these sort of things resulted in loss of support and they think that’s okay – it’s their call. It will disappointing for many but I would give time to see how they react and solve these sort of problems. Sometimes, it’s better to take a step back and breathe and look clearly at the problem. Rather than stepping rashly in the middle of the mudpit.

    • mintmocha says:

      I agree with this too. The video, the accusation, the finger-pointing… all of this is done on very shaky grounds. The video is inconclusive in itself. Busquets has allegedly denied the claim. Marcelo has so far remained silent as well. Be it on a legal standpoint or a PR standpoint, there’s pretty much nothing to go about with. There’s no concrete statement to actually bring this to the next level.

      If the club reacts… if the club doesn’t react… it’s a double-edged sword they’re dealing with here.

      Hey, I don’t like this situation either. I don’t like the doubt that this has sowed to the fans. But, until someone comes out with definite proof, none of us can make any judgments either.

  4. Cesc Blanc says:

    Well, if you expect a statement from the club…then..

    I mean, this is the same board that needed Guardiola to step out in a press conference and dish out against people accusing us of doping, cheating, being in bed with UEFA etc.
    The same board that sued the journalist who said “a Real Madrid source told me..” when it came to the doping issues, basically shooting the messenger and a board that given Rosell’s comments on African players maybe doesn’t care a BIT about the accusations.
    I understand your point but the thing is, we’re dealing with Team Alan Harper and Team Alan Harper doesn’t understand these issues you mentioned.
    This leads us to once again needing Busquets to come clean and/or Guardiola doing the job, which actually the club should do.

  5. Stephen says:

    Love is blind. I love the club, and Kevin like you say I think the severity of the “incident” varies from person to person. Some might see it and some may not, the club may not.
    I think it speaks volumes that a pitch where chants of the sort have been heard, stood clapping the minute Abidal left the bench. The Love for the player, wearing the shirt, is beyond any racial issues. I think that’s “mes que un club.”
    Barça is the eye of a storm, bringing this to light would only further tarnish the “image” the media has been building around us, had it been at any other time, I’m sure something would’ve been said, but right now, they won’t.

  6. Whatever says:

    I totally agree with you.

  7. scavendish says:

    Fantastic.

    Absolutely fantastic.

  8. blitzen says:

    FYI:

    My computer picked up a nasty virus yesterday (ahchoo!). Pretty sure the culprit was DayLife.com. Be ware! :eek:

  9. hammeronmessi says:

    with all due respect,
    its a football blog afterall,so although i understand your feeling(i had been called a terrorist for my faith for more then 4 times),can we just go back to football?

    on the other hand,i completely agree with the post.

    • vicsoc says:

      This is a Barcelona Football Club blog, and as such it has always discussed all aspects of the club. This is an important issue facing the club and ignoring it isn’t a proper response, either from the club or from the fans.

      • hammeronmessi says:

        hear hear.

        i didnt ignore it.on the other hand i agreed with the post.

        but at the same time,this issue is raised when a barca player allegedly accused of racism.what about the 1000 other times?i mean when a non barca player acted in a racial incident?what of those times?why didnt there was a post then?although its BFB,the common denominator here is football.so why?although we r different in many ways with other big clubs a la masia,
        we r not houlier than thou as we liked our club to be.so if and i say a big if busi did indulge himself in that,then the likely action of the club will be to protect the player.moreover busi is a catalan born,raised by la masia.so although i like him to be kicked out of the club,he will still remain there.

        xenophobia runs wayyyyy deep in europe right now and its such a serious thing that IMHO a football blog is not the proper place to discuss this serious xenophobia.a barca fanatic just like me once called me a bearded terrorist.did that make all cules a islamophobic?NO

        do i left my club for this?i will not.cause i love bacra,cause it is barca.its not because i love barca for xavi,busi,messi,pique and all the other blaugrana players.i didnt like rossel for the membership quota which is also xenophobic,but did anybody leave barca for that?no.

        if kxevin leave,then its his choice and i respect that.

        please KXEVIN,its nothing personal and i dont wanna heart ur feelings,its just my feeling about this and that what i wanna share.

    • Ryan says:

      Anytime I hear someone preface their statement using “with all due respect” I can’t help but to recall how Ashley in Mass Effect thinks of the phrase. :D

      http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Ashley_Williams

      In any case, this is more than a blog, it’s a community. If there’s something troubling one of its great writers, we want to hear about it!

      • hammeronmessi says:

        so thats what we think when somebody use with all due respect.

        its the proper way to disagree with somebody’s opinion.

        so KICK MY ASS.

        AND FIRST READ MY COMMENTS AND THEN COMMENTS.
        AND AGAN

        KMA

        • hammeronmessi says:

          BTW,

          if one thing i learned from kxevin is to discuss something in a civilized way.

          so pardon me for the KMA thing

          • hammeronmessi says:

            advanced apology from me.

            that comment was made in a heated moment when i read the ashley williams link.

            can any of the mods delete that.

            apologies to ryan.but your sarcasn didnt make me particulary happy.

  10. JMo says:

    Moving. Insightful. Illuminating.

    I studied as an academic in racial studies, particularly in the US political realm and when I saw Sergio’s comment, posture and overall demeanor, I was captured by fear like dry splinters near an open flame.

    I’m sad to say that I’m almos certain Sergio did what he is being accused of.

    For me, the only thing that will rectify the situation is a very public and very heartfelt address to the media where he specifically aks for forgiveness from the cules, Marcelo and people of all colors from around the globe.

  11. Josep says:

    Brilliant, possibly your best piece. It’s a call from a cule, and a soci. It’s not berating, not demeaning, just stark.

    Barca just say something. ANYTHING. Is it only non-Catalan cule’s that care about this? Is that why? I’m sure plenty Catalan’s don’t care, seeing as many of them are the ones who do such chants themselves..

  12. K_legit says:

    Racism at all levels should be intolerable and should be punished with utmost severity..and the fact that FC Barcelona as an institution is nothing in this matter to either:
    a. Defend self and player accused of such or
    b. Punishing said player for his act
    is highly disturbing

    There is no way that Busquets said it in the heat of the moment..Like SoMa rightly pointed out, he wasn’t angry or perturbed, it was deliberate, slow and well thought out..Notice the way his eyebrows arch emphasizing the last syllable of that word and you will notice a calm demeanour and posture..This was the classic example of a racist insult..no two ways about it.

    I’d also like to point out to you Kxev that is going to be dreadful to not read the reviews you put out though..But if this is goodbye remember this one thing: All your reviews are belong to us :D

    • poipoi says:

      May be deliberate yes, but still it is only to get marcelo mad I think. He should have called him more things lol. Busi is dirty but not a racist this is too much. I think it is much worse to laugh at somebody’s illness for instance … but if Carvalho called messi a midget I would still say this is football leave them alone. And if messi had responded and got a red a la zidane, would Carvalho acted right for his team? To me yes… This war was really dirty.

  13. poipoi says:

    Mes q un club is a political thing to most, about cataluña spain madrid franco and that, to me personally is about the beauty/art of football… never heard it had anything to do with racial integration. But hey let’s crucify busi for those 2 seconds, vs his best known enemy! I think I read this was not about busi but if the club did say something it would harm him a lot. Maybe busi should say sorry and that would be it for me. I am not black but I belong to a race also, and some cultural-mockable groups. :P

    I have been called whitey or espanyolito “valenciano d m*erda” “spanish liar” “catalufo” even though I am not one like 14 times… but I don’t count the ones when on a pitch or in a fight. Never played fcb-ee but I would not count that ones either if they happened. I give people the benefit of the doubt, literal translation from spanish sorry. They just got all hot and meant aggression.

  14. icemel says:

    Sombody translate this post into Catalan and nail it to the door of the Barca business office! Maybe with a supporting lines or paragraphs from the 100′s of other fine reader/writers of this blog. With photos of each in Barca shirts, to show what a world-wide family BFB and hence all of cule-dom is.

    Kxevin, what a mighty pen you possess…if you stop writing here I’m going to have to get the tribune mailed to my house so I can get some sort of regulat K-dose.

  15. vicsoc says:

    In my mind it’s very easy for the club to deal with this issue. Release a statement something like this:

    “In light of recent allegations, FC Barcelona would like to reiterate that as an institution we reject racism and condemn racist actions, remarks, and views. We would like to make it known that any person connected with the club who acts in a racist manner, whether they be a board member, athlete, or employee, will be dealt with swiftly. FC Barcelona is an equal opportunity organization, and racism runs counter to the values we hold dear.”

    • Hilal says:

      Ok, and what would this statement achieve? Besides giving the acccusaion more attention than it deserves. Untill somebody can prove that Busquets said or did something racist the club doesnt need to defend itself. Putting out a statement like this implies that the club believes there is some truth to the allegation, which does neither the club nor the player any favours.

      • vicsoc says:

        I disagree, this statement acknowledges that there are accusations out there, reiterates the clubs stance, but it doesn’t in any way imply those accusations are correct.

        It only implies the accusations are correct if you want it to when you read it, and those people have already made up their minds.

        By responding to Mourinho’s rant was the club implying that there was some truth to the accusations? It’s the same situation.

  16. xavi says:

    I take the reaction towards the incident is going over the board… I agree I’m a ‘brown’ skin and I obviously don’t know the exact feelings one feels when comes across these remarks but I assure you people, there’s quite an amount of racism even in my country and I do understand to an extent.

    I don’t understand why people take it so personally. If any, one should just laugh at the person making the racist remarks for his ignorance. Just play cool guys! If a person is believing in the shit that one color race is superior to the other color ones, then all I take from it is that the person in question is a fool… And I won’t let that fool make me sad not for one bit!!

    Regarding the action from the club… Pep did give the statement about it. Said, if it happened, it is a mistake and he’ll ensure it won’t happen again. That sounds like an action to me! Because it’s not like the players are going out on streets and preaching the racism all over! They are doing just the opposite!! A youngster’s ONE foolish act doesn’t ruin all that for me and it shouldn’t for anybody else too.
    Questioning the basic motto of the club based on just one mistake sounds way off cool to me! I’m sorry Kxevin, I do understand you don’t feel right about it but you don’t question the entire institution based on one mistake, simple as. Now you ruined your all cool image in my eyes to an over-sensitive guy!! You are too cool to be disturbed so much by one foolish act man!!

  17. fcbfandrivel says:

    Brilliant article, Kxevin.

    I completely agree that the club owes it to the fans to clear this matter up. After having responded to Cadena Cope’s drug allegations and Mou’s conspiracy theories, this is a far more serious accusation and the fans deserve an explanation.

    For those saying the club’s silence somehow implies Busi’s guilt, it might just be (misguided) PR. So let’s say the club says “We spoke to Busquets, and he didn’t say mono, he said momo” and then RM responds saying “We spoke to Marcelo, and Busquets said mono”, then it’s more back and forth, with one word against another, and the matter drags on under the spotlight with neither able to prove a point, Busquet’s reputation tarnished progressively.

    That said, I totally agree with Kxevin that the club owes it to its fans to come out and tell us what happened. And we’ll believe the club’s integrity to have carried out the proper investigation, irrespective of whether the rest of the world does.

  18. Ramzi says:

    I got hectored, in my response to Poipoi. Now regarding this post, I do believe the club need to come out with a formal statement. If it didnt happen (Busquets comment), I understand the delay. We were in the flue of one of the most important matches for us. So I understand delaying the response -IF THERE IS NO RACIAL COMMENT.

    Beside, how far a statement from the club will really help the club’s image. There are doubts toward a player. If the club just made a statement, the doubts will end up against the club as an entity that it is defending or covering that player. So it is not that easy. And it is not as simple as publishing a statement on the official site.

    And I agree with Kxevin that the initial response of Marcelo is not an indication. I am a terrorist as you know :D I don’t go out punching people who say so. So we shouldn’t read much in Marcelo’s reaction. However:

    - Real Madrid were digging for anything to complain about -formally- to UEFA in order to counter our complain. They went for the silliest things possible. Did they file the racial abuse officially to UEFA?(I don’t know). If they didn’t, that’s a very strong indication for me. Here, it is not about fans in the stadium. Its about a player. If they didn’t file this one officially (regardless of the public speech where anyone can say anything), we have to read between the lines then.

    - If there is anything solid about it, UEFA can react toward such incidents even without receiving any complain. They didn’t.

    So, I am still not sure if we are blowing this “incident” out of portion already. I hope the club investigate it. If there is no case, find a way to clarify that (which is again not as simple as throwing a statement on the site). I think they should send those who promoted that accusation to court. That’s how you clear your name. Being defensive won’t help.

    If he actually made that remark, then the club need to react accordingly.

    And regarding the youth academy, I dont think it was anything against African players, but more about Catalans. Though it is still racial anyways, but just to put things in the right perspective. Rosell wanted to close the academies outside spain as well -including the one in Argentina. He had the phobia that 50,000 Chinese or Russians will become club members and hijack the club. So Rosell racism goes beyond races…what? Nevermind…

    • blitzen says:

      Did they file the racial abuse officially to UEFA?(I don’t know).

      No, I don’t believe so. AFAIK, their complaint to UEFA was regarding “unsportsmanlike behaviour” with reference to diving and trying to influence the referee. Pretty sure the “mono” thing was not part of that.

    • Ryan says:

      Right, it’s an ethnocentric policy more than anything.

  19. mardia says:

    Kxevin, thanks for articulating what I wanted to say about this issue. In a way, whatever Busquets might or might not have said is entirely BESIDE the point, the point is how Barcelona as an institution responds to it, and so far, we haven’t responded at all. Which, in its own way, is far more damming than the actions of one player ever could be.

  20. mlambi says:

    Super nice write up Kevin. Thank you for explaining the club’s history. You really have a natural gift for writing, clear and honest.

    Idea:
    #1 Send your thoughts as well as a signed petition from us to Guardiola, Busi, & Rosell stating our disappointment in how FC Barcelona has handled this charge. I’m even willing to cut and paste your last two entries and send them. Note: I’m in CA and only played soccer on a boy’s high school team, 34 yrs ago–no girl’s teams yet….so I probably wouldn’t be the best choice. However, I am willing to try:)

    This is worth pursuing. Please don’t stop here.

    Thanks

  21. missingpage says:

    Dear Kevin,

    This is the complete interview by Pep http://masiablaugranaruedasdepremsa.blogspot.com/2011/05/rueda-de-premsa-completa-de-pep.html

    From the spanish I know (Intermedio) Pep denies the allegations by implying that Busquets told him that he didn’t say anything racist and he will take his word on it. If however it is proved otherwise or if the club becomes aware of a racist incident they will punish the one responsible. Which means that the official stance of the club is clearly against racism.
    The club has definetely asked Busquets, he said he didn’t insult Marcelo’s race and so they closed the case through the presser by the team’s coach. Pep clearly said that any player would be punished if he made racist comments, Busquets wasn’t punished so therefore he DENIED allegations. This is another point -the fact that Busquets has NOT been punished- that for me shows that Sid Lowe didn’t do his job properly by claiming that Pep had “confirmed” the racist’s remarks. If Pep “confirmed” them then why didn’t he as a coach and we as a club punish Busquets as we said we would?!
    If Sid Lowe hadn’t altered the translation and had said that “Pep denies racism insults” we would all be much more calm now.

    Let’s not forget that the club has made Yaya Toure apologise publicaly for the “corte mangas” he did against Atletic Bilbao in the copa final. This for me shows that when our club becomes aware that one of our players has offended the opposition, it takes action.
    Below its the Video with Yaya’s public apology.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6JRdIoIaGc
    (just like EE asked their palyer pepe to do…wait no they didn’t!!!)

    What I’m saying is for me, we have denied the allegations through Pep’s presser and I don’t think we will make another anouncement BUT i’m hoping Busquets will be asked about the incident in a press conference sooner rather than later.

    So far our club’s stance has me covered, mainly because I trust Pep and I trust the fact that he has questioned Busquets about the incident.

    Thank you for the lovely post,I suppose the best teachers always teach for free

    missingpage,
    a soci

  22. blitzen says:

    Here is some good news:

    Bojan has already recovered from his injury. Tomorrow he’ll join the group and he could be ready to play on Sunday. #fcblive [ona fm]

    I’m a little skeptical since it’s not from the official site, but if it’s true, amazing! Barca must have the best doctors and physios in the world!

  23. Obii says:

    To be honest, I completely understand where Kxevin is coming from. I am from Pakistan, but am currently studying in Canada. I have heard the word “terrorist”, “towel-head” and “sand nigger” all too often for me to develop a tolerance towards it (even though Canada is a very multicultural country, it does have its fair share of racist individuals). No one man has the right to put another down based on the colour of his skin. Sorry, thats just how it is. If Kxevin needs some sort of assurance from the club, it is his right to ask for it, not just as a soci, but as a human being.

  24. gowtham says:

    Brilliant Piece!

    Being Sri-Lankan,I can honestly say, from the bottom of my heart, I understand what you’re going through. It’s hard, it’s disrespectful, and it’s just morally wrong. There were times when I’ve wanted to retaliate with physical abuse. People will always try to downgrade you, to make you “feel” like shit, but us victims, have to always rise above it…WE CANNOT LET RACISM GET THE BETTER OF US.

    -I, for one, have never understood why there is a need for some people to be racist, but as much as it hurts me, I do my best to hide it. I flipped out once, and as a result got kicked out of my high school. I think that it should be gone from this world, from our society, IT NEEDS TO BE BANISHED. I despise it, I can’t even stand people who joke about it.

    -Kxevin: I understand you, and I’ve been in the same position a hell of a lot more than 4 times. It hurts. If you plan to stop writing, I understand you decision, and i will respect it. If you stop supporting this team, I understand it, and I WILL respect it. It’s your decision, and you are free to do whatever you want.

    -I still love this club, but some of it’s “supposed” value is starting to come into question. From one racism victim to another, I Respect you for the PROUD COLORED person you are. From one Match reviewer to another: I look up to your work, and I one day hope to be able to write like you. Your wonderful, probably the best writer I have ever come across. I hope you continue, but it’s all up to you. This Blog will miss you, the reader’s will miss you, the club will miss a fan like you…

    THANK YOU KXEVIN AND STAY STRONG BROTHER!

  25. hammeronmessi says:

    ^this 100%

  26. Liva says:

    Kxevin, this is an amazing post and you have made it absolutely clear why you are so disappointed right now. I am not going to write that I perfectly understand how you feel – there is no way I can, I have never experienced what you have had to face, I cannot even imagine how hurtful it must be.

    It is probably this difference of background and life experience that makes me see the club’s silence in a different light – I see it as a strong rebuff of rumours which the club must find so unsubstantial that they would not even merit an answer in a form of an official statement (I guess, I could add my relative youth and general naivety, as well as the probably rather silly belief in general goodness of the world to the reasons). Actions more often than not speak louder than words. The whole matter started with a rather shady video coming out of somewhere on the infinitely large organism that is the Internet. Fire spreads quickly, and people are so easy to manipulate these days – you put some subtitles on a Youtube video and all of a sudden there are hundreds and thousands of people who are screaming their heads off, as if they had heard it themselves standing next to the players, that a player from your club is making racist remarks. Real Madrid saw an excellent opportunity to add even more fuel to the already extremely heated atmosphere that surrounded the Clasicos and chose the most convenient way for themselves to do it.

    What Real Madrid did in this case in a weird way reminds me of an episode of “Friends”. In that episode Joey and Chandler were bickering with each other about who gets to sit in the comfortable chair. Joey decided that the best way how to annoy Chandler and provoke a response from him would be to hold his hand a couple of centimeters away from Chandler’s face and wave it there all the time. When he was doing that, he kept repeating: “Not touching, can’t get mad! Not touching, can’t get mad!” This, in my opinion, is something that Real Madrid did – they never complained officially, they only insinuated certain things, leaving it up to the Madrid hacks and easily infuriated football fans to do the dirty job. If Chandler cracks and hits Joey’s hand, technically, he is the one starting the fight. If Barcelona cracks and responds, they are responding to something that technically has never been voiced out loud; the people screaming will scream again: “Oh, so if they are responding, they are denying it, but you know – there is no smoke without fire, right???”

    In other cases, when the club has responded to the allegations, it has been because someone had pointed a finger directly at Barca, saying more or less concrete things, and not just insinuating certain ideas that as if everyone knows, but, you know, let’s not mention them out loud just in case we get in some serious trouble later. Even Marca was afraid to say it out loud – they introduced the video with a question “What did Busquets say to Marcelo?” Mass psychosis is easy, starting a witch hunt is easy.

    The question is – do you respond to these kind of things? And how do you respond? As I see it, Barca has responded – Guardiola started Busquets for the game on Tuesday. Pep, since the very beginning that I started following the team, which coincided with Pep taking over from Rijkaard, has always appeared to be a person who puts club first. Not the current president and his board, not himself, not even players, but the club. If there had been even the slightest doubt in the club about the substantiation (or more likely – lack of it) to the rumours, I want to believe that Busquets would never have played the game, let alone started it. To me that was the answer of the club – as I said, very often actions speak louder than words, to me this(as I see it – relative) silence screams out loud. Then again – I am, perhaps, completely wrong about this and the club’s silence should not be interpreted that way. But I guess I really want to believe in the best of things.

    People who want to see Barca fail must be really happy now, though – the easiest way to destroy something is to start crushing it from within. Barca’s fans should not let them do that.

    I hope that made some sense.

  27. dennise says:

    In Europe the roots of racism are very simple: fresh immigrants are 100% burden to social welfare and most of those only demand from society.( Cheap workforce usually comes from eastern europe) But this view ia a taboo, I know.

    +this islam vs atheist society confrontation.

    Luckily my home coutry is too cold and too poor for “african’s dream”.

    • BarcaGator says:

      This a very sad, misguided, and oversimplified view of racism.

    • ooga aga says:

      i dont remember “dennise” ever commenting before this busquets issue came up, and his/her only comments have been (1) telling Kxevin he is basically an idiot for feeling the way he does and (2) essentially blaming people of color in europe for the racism they themselves face. not cool, and not the comments of someone i want in this on-line community. not calling for a ban, just saying…dennise, not cool.

  28. Bassam says:

    Great piece!

    I remember the monkey chants for R. Carlos. I remember the monkey chants for Marcelo against At. Madrid. And many many other racist claims. I think the problem that is being faced with Barcelona is a hard one. As Kev said, if it really didn’t happen, why not clear your name from it? Especially since the team has black players. If the club took action against absurd accusation from a rival coach, then why not even a simple statement refuting the claim? Because right now, from fans of other clubs, this silence is admittance of guilt. While the fans of the club give the club the benefit of the doubt, other fans have no connection to the club to actually think that this silence is really bad. I have talked to many friends, one of which supports Villareal, and his response was: Silence is an admittance of guilt. And thats coming from someone who hates Real Madrid.

    For me, I really hope that the accusations are wrong. Even if it puts my club in a bad stance. But this is beyond clubs, its about spanish football as a whole and setting an example for the rest of the world. So as Kev said, a denial from the club would really end this. I sure hope that happens.

    Another point: Wasn’t David Villa the first player in spain to have a clause in his contract against Racism? I am not really sure what that clause says, so can someone clarify? Because for those asking what is the action to be taken, the clause will have a huge effect on the matter.

    • Ramzi says:

      The name of the club is clear already. If the accusation is right, the club should punish the player. If it is wrong and there is any way to take legal actions toward those who promoted this story, the club should fo for it. Or else there is nothing the club can do.

      This is a sensetive topic, and those who suffered from racism and all kind of descrimination are understandably getting emotional about it. But there is no other realistic approach for the club to take beside the ones I just mentioned. If the accusation is not true, and there is no possibility to take legal actions against who promoted it, there is nothing the club can do.

      Those who are not Barca fans and enjoying throwing stones on the club will keep doing so even if the club published a statement about it. In fact they will say:”See! its not just the player! Thats not an individuals fault, the club is covering and defending him! Its a rasist club all together”

      Again, even though all emotions understandable, but the club has nothing tp prove. Those who are throwing accusations have to. And I can make a vedio where mourinho says:”I am the copycat of Rafael Benitez”

    • Jim says:

      Sorry but in my book you can never equate silence with guilt. That is a very dangerous road to go down. Not sure if you were agreeing with that or not.

      If RM had raised this against Busi the club would have responded formally. If Marcelo had made an allegation a response would have been necessary. Given that neither of these seem to have happened any further response beside Pep’s clarification that any such action would be wrong and would be dealt with is unnecessary. As someone said, if Pep had doubts Busi wouldn’t have played.

      I’m not sure what those urging the club to respond are saying. If it’s that the club and Pep know its a racist comment but are unwilling to act, then I’m sorry but I don’t believe it.

  29. Cesc Pistol says:

    Beautiful post Kevin. I don’t really agree but feel for you. I honestly believe the club doesn’t owe anyone to come out and say anything. Reasons for that are given by others already so I won’t go in detail. He should be punished if he’s found guilty and they should investigate it. But until anything is found, they don’t need to go public at all. Hope everything turns out in the best way possible.

    However, I’ll play the devil’s advocate here:

    I really don’t think this type of racism is that big a deal. Sure, racism is disgusting when people are really discriminated against.
    But I hardly see name-calling as racism. I have been called many things, paki, terrorist amongst others, far more than four times.
    So I know racial abuse quite well. Fear, mistrust and hatred of those different than you is no new thing and neither is name-calling on physical or readily apparent characteristics. It’s quite horrible and vile to be sure.

    But what I find odd is that amongst all type of discrimination it is considered the worst. I’ve seen Religious discrimination have much worse consequences in the present. Not to mention regionalism, sexism (Really, the things done to girls and a girl-child..Horrible acts, too disgusting to even describe) and many other types of discrimination.

    But the reaction against racism is far more than any of these things. Even for things as name-calling. And it’s disproportionately bigger when a white guy says something against a black one (or whatever PC term they’re using nowadays). So Chinese, Indian, Middle-Eastern are all taken quite lightly but God forbid a white guy call hurls a racial slur against a black man! The most heinous of crimes has been committed! Put him in jail! Burn him at stake! Stone him to death I say, he surely deserves it!

    It’s all quite ridiculous I think. Racism is a far more serious issue than name calling. But hey, that never stopped the PC moral brigade from ignoring serious issues and focusing on name calling.

  30. hammeronmessi says:

    Racism is a far more serious issue than name calling. But hey, that never stopped the PC moral brigade from ignoring serious issues and focusing on name calling.

    right.

    u r a paki?i know how u feel.u dirty terrorist.

    yeah,i have been called by that

  31. hazelypants says:

    So, if actions speak louder than words, how does *our* player not even get the benefit of the doubt with some people? I mean he’s only got an incredibly racist background & was never instructed in our clubs values. WHATEVER. I totally get you Kev, but I don’t see us making the statement so many of us want. Look on the bright side, we do so much off the pitch to show the world our values that making a statement is unnecessary. Especially considering that nor Madrid or Marcelo haven’t even filed an actual complaint to UEFA in regards to racism (& they’re appealing the rejection! http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/13296268.stm). They can bring out Karanka to TALK all they want, but have they actually DONE anything about it? Look at how the whole team celebrated with Abi at the end. We would have a torn locker room right now if any of this were true. I know games are so loud you cant hear crap but to actually expect for no one else on that pitch to have heard the word “MONO” (if it had been said) but Busi & side show bob is also dumb. If it was what he said, and other players did hear it, and didn’t reprimand for having done that, does this make the club racist? I’m just bringing up silly questions b/c people seem to like giving a meaning to silence and this is exactly what I’m against. Suddenly everyones an expert in lip reading and this is why Kev’s upset… b/c people who think they can read lips are accusing us of being a club that allows racism to happen. There are so many people in the world that want to believe we’re just another club and want us to believe that too. So they come out with this all this bull so that we can all forget how recently Busi was part of an anti-racism campaign with Pique & other players I cant recall at the moment.

    Anyway, if this were Xavi in Busi’s place, people would laugh at Marca who broke out the video and forget about this nonsense b/c Xavi’s character holds up waaayyyyy more than our 23 yr old DM. That said, Busi is still young, and he needs to earn our respect and stop doing dumb shit in important games. Peace :)

  32. lovelymofo says:

    Kxevin I’m glad you wrote this piece, which clarifies why this is such an important issue to you personally. I can see how the ambiguity of the club’s response is in a way worse than getting confirmation about what Busi did or didn’t say. The ambiguity is pretty much saying that they don’t care enough about this issue of racism to clarify what happened and to take a definitive stand on it.

    I guess for me the question comes down to what it is we want or expect from this team and more widely, the sport. Are we looking at this as some reflection of who we are as individuals? As a society? Are we looking at it beyond its basic physical nature? I would say the answers to these questions would be yes. At least for most of us.

    I think part of what might have drawn us to this club was the whole “Mes Que Un Club” idea. (I mean, along with the style of football being played and maybe the one or two players that caught our eye.) And maybe part of the reason this whole situation is leaving such a bad taste in our mouths is because we can’t quite reconcile this situation with what we think “Mes que un club” means. I think for those of us who live outside of Spain, it’s this inclusive mantra that says yes we play football with style but off the pitch we have these other values. We work with and support UNICEF. We’re affiliated with other foundations that promote not only the sport and the club, but that promote health and wellness in children all over the world (two examples – Fundacion Samuel Etoo and Fundacion Rafa Marquez).

    Yet, as many have pointed out, “Mes que un club” may not mean what we think it means. It started off as this Catalan identity thing. And it has evolved as the sport has gone global. The question is I suppose, if we hold the players responsible for reflecting these values, that go beyond the sport. And if we hold the players responsible for these values then the club has to respond in some way to these allegations.

    Anyway, that’s been knocking around my head since all this business happened. I can see why this would be a killer for you Kxevin, since it does seem, along with Rosell’s seemingly xenophobic policies, that this is a malaise that seems to be spreading through the entire organization.

    Maybe Iniesta el “Puto Gusiluz” can shine his ghostfacekillah!-light on the club and cleanse all the negativity away?

  33. soccermomof4 says:

    First and foremost, Kxevin, I’m sorry for your pain.

    You said a triunph on and off the field; you were wrong. RM won the off-field war.
    When we progressed to the finals but RM won the CdR, people said they won a battle but we won the war; they were wrong. RM won the war.

    If you are waiting for FCB to say something, to do something I’m very sorry but I don’t believe it’s going to happen. Racism is wrong, it’s black and white, no grey area or room for discussion. But a response from the club is frought with legal ramifications. It’s all grey area, no black and white. It’s more complicated than our idealistic selves would like it to be. Barcaleya is right about this one.

    Pep already gave an answer. If he had not been misquoted we would have been satified with it. I think the man has earned our trust. I also think that when Pep gives an answer at a presser it can be considered the club’s stance on an issue.

    My take on it is that I trust Pep until there’s a good reason not to. I also trust the black and darker skinned players on our team and will base my reaction on their reactions. The club has made progress on these issues. The fans have as well. Dani, The King, Adriano, and Keita are all loved and respected. They love our club and want to stay. That speaks volumes. Ronnie and Eto’o love and are still loved be our club. Henry and Yaya have had nothing bad to say about the club.

    Finally, racism isn’t a problem. It’s a symptom of a problem called ignorance and lack of respect. No one here should think that being white means you don’t get hurt by insults. I’ve been called fat before. When someone asked me how many kids I had once and I answered four they asked if I was stupid or Catholic. I’ve had my name made fun of in school. The propensity for other humans to disrespect and belittle that which is alien to them is unfortunately universal. So slurs on the field that are not racially motivated can be just as hurtful to other players( e.i. Zidane). I’m pretty sure that trash talk and insults abound on the pitch. It’s wrong, it should stop, there should be respect, but short of having a cloistered monks premiere league it’s what we’re stuck with.

  34. blitzen says:

    Not to derail the thread or anything, but I could really use a silly Kari post right now. :(

    Football is fun?

    • soccermomof4 says:

      Good idea, sis. Until then I’m back to my self-imposed English Period Drama exile/ football sanity break. I’ll tell you one thing, it’s really strange to watch the same actor who plays Severus Snape play Col. Brandon.

      Oh, and avatars would be nice, guys.

  35. Artur says:

    Two things can cause me to have an emotional roller-coaster … my girlfriend, and your articles. Wow.

    Let’s hope our club makes a firm stand about this.

  36. Mila says:

    There isn’t anything that doesn’t stink about this whole affair, even if he is innocent, which at this point is irrelevant, because the club’s attitude has been just appalling regarding this issue.

    But I am really proud of the reaction that the football fans on the internet have had towards it, fans and rivals alike: ontd_football re-posted this message you posted Kevin, so many people have been re-tweeting parts of it, commenting. I just wanted to point out that you are making a difference, for so many people!

  37. Vj says:

    Hmm.. where did I hear racist monkey allegations? Oh right -
    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/story/Harbhajan,+Symonds+and+all+the+monkey+business/1/4042.html

    We worship monkeys here, and have a Monkey God – Hanuman. I’d be honored if someone called me a Monkey. There you have it. Different people react differently if put in some circumstances..

  38. Miguel says:

    Am I the only one here who has SoMa saying:
    a bilabial occlusive followed by a front dental articulation
    echoing in their heads? So hot. :D

  39. Judas Pissed says:

    Once again – the only body to accuse Busquets of racism is Real Madrid. They also accuse us of a global conspiracy spanning many years including UEFA, UNICEF & many referees from many different football federations. They also dropped the only trophy they’ve won in the last 3 years under a bus – & laughed about it. They are pathetic liars & whingers trying anything to bring us down.

    If it happened – why haven’t they reported it to UEFA? Why hasn’t Marcelo said anything? Barca have kept a dignified silence & so they should. Barca cannot respond where there is no actual charge.

    Busquets is not a racist – end of.

    • dennise says:

      In case of you have not noticed: most -including Kxevin – use this “case” to moan about their public and private lives. And somehow FCB is responsible. Gimme a break!

      • Vj says:

        Really? Wow!

        You should be given a break…

      • ooga aga says:

        again, dennise, i am not impressed…bye….

      • gowtham says:

        dennise…
        “Most-including Kxeven”, have considered this site a place where FC Barcelona fans can come and share their thoughts, opinions, and lifestyles with other people. Although this blog is considered a “FCB” blog, there is much more than just football that the fans and readers talk about. Topics have ranged from women, to men, to weddings, even to cricket! This is “MES QUE UN FOOTBALL BLOG”!

        “WE” don’t moan about our private lives, we’ve just tried to help a friend (Kxevin, and other Racist victims) by telling them that they should be strong, and that we’ve also went through these experiences, and that always there for these wonderful people. Sharing specific racism induced life experiences doesn’t mean that we’re moaning about them. I’m pretty sure that is people were to write out their private life stories, the servers probably wouldn’t be able to support it.

        “And somehow FCB is responsible”: Yest they are. Racism is THE BIGGEST NO-NO in the world, doesn’t matter if it’s in sports, at your work, or even at your school. FCB should take full responsibility and clear up the mess. Either they should come out and say “Yes, Busquets did say something racist” or “NO, No such comments were made”. A man representing the badge of our club has been dragged into a situation like this, and until the club or player come out and clear up the problem, the FCB will be held responsible for it.

        This blog has been wonderful. Most of it comes from the wonderful and talented writers that this site possesses, but a chunk of it comes from the readers and their comments as well. The comments have mostly been positive, readers have never disrespected anyone with their comments. This is one of the most respected football blogs out there. Please show some more politeness with your comments. Your comment was disrespectful to racist victims, the blog itself, and mostly to Kxevin. Please, show some support and be kind.

        …And I know that I don’t run the blog, but an apology might be nice.

        CHEERS!

        • Jim says:

          “Yest they are. Racism is THE BIGGEST NO-NO in the world, doesn’t matter if it’s in sports, at your work, or even at your school.”

          I’m sorry. Racism ( genuine racism ) is despicable and should be hounded out, wherever it occurs, by decent folk but to say it’s the biggest no-no in the world is to lose perspective entirely.

          Murder, rape, genocide ???????? In my mind there is a difference between physical violence and name calling ( no matter how abhorrent).

          Anyway, as I understand it Kxevin’s beef is with the club not Busi at this point.

  40. BarcaGator says:

    Long time reader here.

    I just wanted to say that posts like these are why I love this blog.

    I’ve always loved the writing style and passion of the pieces. But what I love most is this blog’s ability to take on serious topics and facilitate a serious discussion of them.

    If Barcelona is really the “mes que un club” ideal that we all fell in love with, this incident shouldn’t be something dismissed easily.

    I’m so tired of having to explain Busquet’s antics. The diving. Now the racist taunting. I’ve seen the video. It looks exactly like what people are accusing him of.

    The club should clear this up, not for Marcelo’s sake, not for Real Madrid’s sake. They should clear this up because, as Kevin said, the ideal that unites our beloved club to something “more” is put in jeopardy.

    We all make mistakes. How we carry ourselves afterwards is what defines our character.

    I hope that our response will pull on the same proud heart strings that resonated throughout Abidal’s struggles.

  41. tutomate says:

    I agree that FCB already made a public stance about this through Pep as Missingpage describes.

    But this article is absolutely moving.

    • vicsoc says:

      This presents a problem in and of itself to me. From what I’ve seen Pep doesn’t like being the spokesperson for the club as an institution. He has been forced to play a role in the press recently that he has avoided in the past.

      It simply shouldn’t be Pep’s job to deal with issues like this. His job is to prepare the team to win trophies and talk about football. When he’s president of the club then he can talk about these issues, but for now let him focus on football.

  42. People are welcome to keep this discussion going! It’s great hearing from everyone — lurkers especially — and I don’t want people to think they can’t post on this thread anymore. You are absolutely welcome to keep going!

    However, for the people who want somewhere else to post other comments, I have a (nonsense) post up.

  43. Bill3288 says:

    Well, they stopped being “more than a club” when they changed the Soci rules.

    Then, to not comment — if only to say “these allegations are ridiculous” — seals it for me. They’re just trying to sweep it under the rug, move on, hope everybody forgets.

    Now,they still play the best football on the planet. But they’re acting poorly and, worst of all, they’ve hurt someone I am lucky enough to call a friend. Because of that, I just can’t give them much love right now. I don’t want them to lose, but I won’t be spending a lot of time rooting for them until they shape up.

  44. blitzen says:

    Whoa. Kxevin, your post got a shout-out on Dirty Tackle:

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/soccer/blog/dirty-tackle/post/More-links-And-Drogba-singing-and-playing-the-g?urn=sow-wp1411

    (Also check out the link to the world famous internet comic Studs-Up.) ;)

  45. Moose says:

    1. You’re not the only one who’s ever experienced racism in your life. Get off your soapbox.

    2. If I called Mourinho a rapist, does that make it true? Does he at least have an obligation to defend himself?

    We’ve just come off the most intense 4-game psychological battle with a team and they have falsely accused us of buying the referees, being crybabies and cheating on the pitch.

    To me this is just part of their smear tactic. They’ve shown they’ll stoop to any level. Stop saying ‘if true’ and ‘the club has to answer this’. We don’t have to respond to ludicrous accusations, we don’t owe Madrid anything. But onto you.

    This whole article is a cry for attention. You don’t want Barca to be ‘more than a club’ and be an example for humanitarian good. The club has already shown its stance in that regard and in particular with regards to race and racism. The MES foundation/campaign particularly help those in Africa. Our partnership with the Samuel Eto’o foundation speaks volumes. But because the club didn’t release an official statement their stance on racism suddenly changed? Do you really believe that?

    What you really want is for the club to placate to your own cries for attention. As a person of Asian descent who has experienced plenty of racism living in North America (from all different kinds of sources, from Caucasians to Latinos to people of African, Asian descent. Everyone’s capable of being racist, duh!). I’ve never felt the club had to answer to me personally.

    When the whole Spanish National basketball team pulled back their eyes to look more ‘Asian’ in an Ad did I need FCB to release a statement denouncing those actions because some of those players on the national team were from FCB? Hell no. I knew that it didn’t represent the club or the club’s values. And even more than that I knew that the Spanish National team didn’t even intend to be racist. Ignorant as it may be in other countries pointing out a stereotype isn’t always racist. OK a lot of Asians have pointed and thin eyes, it’s kind of true, so what? It’s part of our physical characteristic. While sometimes it is racist to point it out, it isn’t always racist. The truth is racism is always about context and intent.

    As George Carlin once said, “We know Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy aren’t racists when they use the word ‘nigger’, because we know they’re not racists….they’re niggers.” It’s about intent and context. Otherwise ‘nigger’ is just a word. We give it all its meaning and all its negative power.

    We have no idea what happened. We don’t know if Busquets even said the word he’s being accused of. We don’t know if he even thought about Marcelo’s race if he said the word. We don’t know what his intent was if he said the word. We don’t know if the club even acknowledges this accusation. We don’t know the intent of the club with its response even if it somehow thought Busquets said the word.

    Even with all of that uncertainty, you’ve somehow convinced yourself that you know the intent of Busquets, the intent of the club’s response without any context. Because only if you presume to know the intent of the club’s so called ‘silence’ can you be offended, why else would the club need to respond? But you’ve done exactly that. You’ve presumed to know the club’s intent. Disregarding the evidence of its past anti-racism associations, stances, and efforts.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88oBygX85xA

  46. Dani_el says:

    “His nickname while playing for Barcelona was Floquet de Neu, after the famous albino gorilla in the Barcelona Zoo.”

    This a reference about Koeman, I didn’t know…

  47. culegirl3 says:

    I agree with Moose 100%. Everyone can be a victim of racism. No matter who is at the receiving end, whether you are black, white latino, asian, indian, etc, everyone goes through it some point. Racism equals ignorance but to go as far as to say ONE MAN represents and reflects a club and an institution is going a bit too far. Sergio Busquets is not FC Barcelona and FC Barcelona is not Sergio Busquets.

    The evidence is unclear and people have jumped the gun on this. It’s quite sad because its turned into a witch hunt almost. I cannot stress enough how importance concrete evidence is. There is no audio, what he says is unclear to Spanish speakers like myself. I’m sure if it had been true, Real Madrid would done something about it since they have shown they like to retaliate fast.

    These have been very exhausting 18 days or so with all kinds of emotions and drama attached to it. I find it sad that we cannot enjoy all the wonderful things that have happened(Wembley, our King, Captain Caveman, etc) because we continue to dwell and mentally torture ourselves over something that may or may not have happened and has yet to be proven properly. Until someone speaks up, we should regard this situation as something someone conjured up to create doubt and chaos within the Cule followers. We are cules, we stand by our club no matter what.

  48. Nav says:

    The problem with responding to baseless allegations is you come out as the loser no matter what. In politics, this is known as the, and please excuse the vulgarity, “did you f*k your mother?” tactic. This is when a political opponent makes you deny something quite grotesque simply to associate you with said grotesqueness, irrespective of your actions. So they say “I don’t know but I heard so and so has sex with his mother. I’m not saying; I’m jus’ sayin”. Then the media asks you to confirm or deny, and if you respond “no, I did not”, bam, you’ve fallen into the trap. The safest thing to do in such a case is to ignore it altogether — not even a no-comment. You ignore it.

    This is what FCB is doing. Madrid has basically asked it the same dirty question. They’re not saying, they’re jus’ sayin. There is no winning move for FCB here, the only way to win is to not play. This is exactly what they’re doing. Pep’s comment “if proven, we’ll take steps” is about as much as you’re going to hear regarding this, as anything else is PR suicide. This is simple game theory.

    Not to mention the precedent this sets if FCB does come out and make a defense for this — every club will then have Carte Blanche on accusing Barca if results don’t go their way. Suffered a manita? Messi insulted my race. Got carded? Xavi made passes at my wife. It opens a floodgate of lazy accusations and slander. Seriously — there is no winning move here. FCB should not say anything until (if) concrete evidence comes out.

  49. dennise says:

    Kxevin and other “victims”

    don’t you understand, you are now not victims of racism but victims of manipulations.

    do not you see the tactics here – never say saomething provable or unprovable, instead of use words “we have heard” “they say” “alledgely”, etc.

    And against of this it is impossible answer firmly and directly

    Even if you do, the next shift will be “very good, but see, we have this video, although very unclear but we are under impression that..”

    THE tactic by Real Madrid is to spam, spread rumors, never say something directly but…

    AND AT THE SAME TIME REAL MADRID TEST WATER, HOW FAR THEY CAN GO.

    All you here reacted not because of racial allegations are more serious than other cases, you reacted because of THIS IS YOUR WEAK SIDE.

    I have my weak sides but so far Real Madrid has not found those.

    Thats why I’m begging – please, stop here your personal campaigns, these are not FCB business.

  50. Xingxian says:

    There’s a lot of comments I’d love to respond to but one theme that comes up in a few comments I want to address is that the effects of racial discrimination aren’t to be taken lightly and one shouldn’t presume to understand too much what someone else is going through.

    As a heterosexual male US citizen of Chinese (half Chinese and half Turkish) descent who grew up in a very well-off neighborhood, I can say that I will never truly understand what it is like to have the stigma of growing up in poverty. I will never truly understand what it is like to be a woman. I will never truly understand what it is like to be treated differently because of my sexuality. I will never truly understand what it is like to be someone with very dark skin. And I’ll add that if you aren’t of Asian descent, you will never truly understand what it’s like to grow up in this country and be treated as foreign.

    We can listen to each other’s stories, we can open up about our experiences, we can try to trust each other, but there’s an experience you get from living day-in, day-out with a certain appearance that is probably impossible to translate with words. Certainly I do not think it is something that can be understood quickly.

  51. Kxevin says:

    I’ve stayed clear of this to let the debate play itself out. Thanks everyone for an open and (mostly) open-minded debate. And just a few things:

    @dennise: Read the article more carefully to start with, then delve into the comments. What you’ll find is that a great many people feel the same way that I do about the club’s silence in this matter.

    Further, a more careful reading of the piece would make abundantly clear that Busquets’ guilt or innocence isn’t the issue here, the club’s silence is. There is no presumption of guilt, but if the club wants to respond to stupid, stupid allegations such as match rigging in tandem with UEFA, surely they can spare a second to respond to a more serious allegation directed at one of its players, by a player and its most historic rival. Simple as that.

    @Moose, I’d suggest that you, too, read more carefully. This piece isn’t about me. It’s about my view of the club, using incidents from my life as a journalistic device. The real issue here is the club and why it isn’t saying anything, and my desire for it to say something.

    “Soapbox?” “Cry for attention?” Clearly, you’re new here. Blogs are personal. When SoccerMom, Euler, Isaiah or any of the BFB Team write something, it’s always personal. That comes with blogging. Blogs are, fundamentally, soapboxes. So are comments sections, right? Otherwise, blogs wouldn’t have them, and would consist solely of posts, devoid of reader comment.

    Posts have been, and will always be misconstrued. More directly to your point:

    –Barca shouldn’t have had to apologize for actions of the Spanish men’s basketball team, despite some of its players being ON that team, because the incident didn’t happen while the players were wearing the colors. Had such an incident occurred while the players were wearing club colors, you bet the club would have had a responsibility to make a public statement and deal with it.

    –As far as wanting the club to placate my own cries for attention, the club doesn’t give a rat’s butt about me, except when my soci dues are up for renewal. Anyone who believes that the club does care about them individually is delusional. Further, anyone who believes that this piece is going to affect anything that the club does is crazed. What it does do is spark a discussion among the denizens of a space, which is the point of a blog. Simple as that.

    And your dismissive, “everyone experiences racism” argument is difficult to support because a) it isn’t the point of the article and b) it dismisses those who HAVE experienced racism or any other form of discrimination as silly crybabies.

    Of course everyone has experienced discrimination, no matter your creed or color. Should they all be told to “get over it, because everybody has gone through it?” Really?

    If you don’t agree with the piece, and believe that the allegations are part of their smear campaign against us, that’s your right. I, conversely, believe there is an allegation that needs to be addressed, one that, by being allowed to sit, does indeed cast doubt on all of the humanitarian gestures that the club makes. There is public and private. Someone can donate to the NAACP every month, yet be horrified when their daughter starts dating a black man, right?

    If one definition of character is “what you do when nobody’s looking,” then the club has a character test on its hands. Noobdy’s looking right now. We won. It’s on to Wembley. So now what? Simple as that.

  52. barca4eva says:

    I don’t understand Spanish nor Catalan and so I don’t know if the allegations are true or false. However, I do believe that Barcelona as a club and institution should have a clear, unambiguous policy on racism, which should be adhered to at all times. In this particular instance, given all that has happened, I don’t know if a formal statement on that very controversy will not spike the feud as opposed to an in house cleansing act. Nevertheless, a public affirmation to the principle of racial equality would be very helpful.

    Racial chants are disgusting incidents no matter who is involved that should be stamped out from all stadia. Unfortunately, La liga and calcio are awashed with all these stuffs and need to do more until a zero tolerance code is installed and enforced.

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