Sunday, November 13, 2011

Abiola Wabara - Racism and protest in Italian basketball

In April this year Italian basketball fans and players were urged to paint their faces black to show solidarity and indignation after black Italian basketball player Abiola Wabara was subjected to racist abuse and spat at during a game. During the game the officials took no action.

According to Eurobasket, the 29-year-old of Nigerian origin, who was born in Parma and played college basketball in America at Baylor, was so shocked by the vitriol directed at her in her native country while playing the game she loves that she said: "I have played in front of 36,000 fans in the USA and I've never experienced something like that."

According to "Life in Italy" in April, Abiola Wabara, a 30-year-old Italian whose parents are Nigerian, suffered the abuse while playing for Bracco Geas of Sesto San Giovanni in a women's top-flight game at Como last Wednesday.

The Italian Basketball Federation (FIP) said the players in the nation's various leagues, starting with the men's top flight, will paint their faces black this weekend and invited fans to do the same.

"The FIP wants to clarify loud and clear that it is against every form of racism,'' read a federation statement announcing the initiative called Vorrei La Pelle Nera (''I'd like to have black skin''), the title of a much-loved Italian pop song.

A video of about protest

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