The former Aranha goalkeeper, who was the victim of racist attacks while playing football, has criticized the political use of the Brazilian team’s jersey and religion on social media. Passing through major Brazilian teams, he called the group “racists” and used an image that showed a man wearing similar clothing used by the Ku Klux Klan – an organization of white supremacists and the far right of the United States – among others with a Seleo shirt.
The photo was taken during a demonstration in support of President Jair Bolsonaro and against Federal Supreme Court (STF) ministers in Porto Alegre in April 2021.
An activist and speaker against racism since leaving the field, Aranha has been subjected to racist attacks during his time in football and has witnessed a change in supporter behavior, although he still believes tougher penalties against racists are needed.
In the joint image, Aranha also added a song by Brazilian rapper Jonghi called “Olho de Tigre” and wrote: “It’s not about politics, it’s about racism and racists taking over the team’s jersey and speaking in the name of God.”
Episode of racism against Aranya
The most publicized case involving Aragna happened when he was defending Santos, where he played from 2011 to 2014.
The former goalkeeper was attacked in front of Grmio fans and asked the referee to stop play in the 2014 Copa Brazil. The cameras recorded insults from the “monkey” as well as gestures from four people. At that time, the individuals identified were charged by the police and were not allowed to enter the stadiums. However, Grmio never took the blame, and the leaders of the gacha team began to view Araña’s complaints as a sacrifice. The gacho team’s defense argued in court that he waxed and provoked the crowd during the game. Luis Carlos Silveira Martins, aka Kakalo, Grêmio’s former president, also stated at the time that the goalkeeper made a “theatrical scene upon hearing a little scream”.
In March this year, he spoke about his activities against racism in an interview with Folha de S. Paulo. Araña realizes that he lost ground at the end of his career because he raised that flag and exhaled.
“I was judged by other players. They said that I use the situation for self-promotion. In general, I began to be perceived not as a player, but as a victim, mimisento. All this because I spoke on a topic that bothered me,” he said.
Life outside the field
Online, he describes himself as “former goalkeeper, writer, speaker, activist against racial discrimination, awarded EU human rights and football coordinator Mogi Mirim.”
In publications, he is seen in the presence of other personalities who also demand harsher punishments in cases of racism.