Manchester City captain Fernandinho has opened up on his personal experiences battling racism during his football career, and suggests that as a society, we are 'far from ending' the problem.
Speaking exclusively to Fred Caldeira of TNT Sports this week, the veteran midfielder shone some light on his struggles throughout his career, battling with abuse online and in-person.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder has also called for the relevant authorities to take stronger action and take the necessary steps in tackling racism online, given the growing number of cases, as seen over the course of the past few weeks - cases that the Brazilian identifies and is aware of.
The 35-year-old opened by revealing that the theme of racism has always been a part of his life, and that 'everyone' who grew up at the same time had to tackle the same issue in their life.
"I think that this theme, as a Brazilian raised in Brazil, has always been part of my life and maybe everyone who grew up at the same time as me had at some point some racist attack or racial abuse or something," he said as per translations from @TheCitizensBR.
Fernandinho continued, "When you are younger you don’t understand what it really means, but then it ends up happening as if it were normal. Then you start to understand the seriousness, but the education I had from my parents, my mother mainly, helped to be very hardworking and face the front regardless of the difficulties."
The City captain also revealed how society is entering a 'dangerous' phase, as the relevant authorities are not banning online social media accounts hiding behind 'false profiles' conducting the attacks.
Fernandinho said, "I think that every time I suffered this abuse, lately via the internet - face-to-face abuse is less - is more difficult to face because they are people hiding behind some false profile. This is where we enter a dangerous area because whoever should ban it doesn’t end up doing it. It’s much more difficult to face something like this without a structure prepared with the necessary support."
He continued, "Now society is playing an important role with movements to try to end it, but in my view, we are far from ending it. It is far from the reality we deserve, but it is a daily and constant struggle that we cannot decide. The new generation needs to start having all this in schools to be different from ours."
Quite rightly, Fernandinho believes that companies need to treat everyone in the same way, and he also believes that change needs to happen now in order for the next generation to be well-educated on the matter.
He told Fred Caldeira during the interview, "The colour of skin is just a detail and what counts is the character of the person. Companies need to treat everyone in the same way and that is something that needs to be done now for the children of the future to be different. I hope that the authorities will take the necessary measures, mainly on abuse on the internet."
"Here in England, we have had some more recent cases with players from Manchester United, Arsenal, Swansea; several players who have suffered abuse. So if companies are more rigid and together with the police, we might have a better result in this matter!"
You can watch the interview with Fred Caldeira and TNT Sports in full via the link below!
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