Unfortunately, the soccer world is often littered with racially insensitive jeers and taunts directed at black players. This behavior led FC Porto striker Moussa Marega to leave the field during Sunday's contest.
In the 69th minute of Porto's eventual 2-1 win at Vitoria Guimaraes, Marega left the match. As players and opponents tried to keep him on the field, Marega was pointing at the stands, giving an attendee the finger. Marega was also given a yellow card as he made his way toward the tunnel.
After the match, Marega took to Instagram where he claimed his actions were sparked by racist comments from the Vitoria Guimaraes fans.
"I would like to only say to those racist idiots in the stands, go f**k yourselves. I hope I never see you on a football field again. You are a disgrace!" Marega wrote. "I appreciate the officials for not defending me and for giving me a yellow card for defending the color of my skin. I hope to never find you on the football pitch again. You're an embarrassment!"
Marega is a French-born Mali player who previously played for Guimaraes on loan in 2016-17. The racist taunts were directed toward Marega after he scored the go-ahead goal and was celebrating.
After news of the incident started to make headlines, the league's organizing body, Liga Portugal, released a statement denouncing the racist chants/behavior.
"Liga Portugal does not agree and never will with acts of racism, xenophobia or intolerance that jeopardize the dignity of footballers or any human beings," the statement reads. "Liga Portugal will do everything to ensure that this episode and all other racist incidents do not go unpunished. We believe this is a fight where your team's colors do not matter and everyone must come together to eradicate this scourge on the game."
Guimaraes also responded to the incident by claiming the team will investigate the situation. "[The club] will not fail to censor any and all manifestations of violence, racism or intolerance," the club said. "[The club] will verify what happened during the game played at Estadio D. Afonso Henriques, acting firmly and consequently, in full cooperation with the competent judicial entities."
Following the match, Porto boss Sergio Conceicao rallied around Marega.
"We are a family regardless of nationality, skin color, hair color. We are human, we deserve respect," Porto said per ESPN. He went on to allege that Marega was being heckled since before the game started. "We are completely indignant about what happened. I know the passion that exists for Vitoria and I think most of the fans do not see themselves in the same attitude of some people who have insulted Moussa since the warm-up."