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Now Dani Alves is the subject of racial abuse

Jan 31, 2013, 3:59 PM EDT

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The Barcelona defender claims Real Madrid fans at Santiago Bernabeu verbally assaulted him during Wednesday afternoon’s Copa del Rey semifinal. He also said he experiences similar taunts in stadiums all over Spain.

The headline in papers around the world are his words that the fight against racism in stadiums is “a lost war,” but he also expressed a desire to see “drastic measures” imposed upon teams whose fans verbally assault players. So maybe he doesn’t think it is such a lost cause?

And it’s not. It’s horrible we have to keep hearing about these instances, but every time we do, we get a little closer to solving the problem. From Alves’ statement to Jozy Altidore’s poised interview and Kevin-Prince Boateng’s response, the issue continues to come to the forefront.

For too long, racism in soccer has been something to ignore, something that was brushed under the table by team management, league officials, and the bigger bodies. The players are the ones who need to force the change. It seems that they are starting to realize the power they have and how they can wield it. We, as journalists and fans, should do everything we can to support the cause.

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