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CSKA Sofia vs. Lokomotiv Plovdiv in 2010. Image by Dimitar Nikolov via Flickr.

Russia's History of Racism Towards Black Players Is Nothing New

The monkey chants, throwing of bananas at black players and assorted racist acts happening now in Russia are not anomalous, Russia has a history of racism.

England defender Danny Rose has added his name to the growing din of voices decrying racism and the fear of racially motivated attacks at this year's World Cup hosted by Russia. In a recent interview, the Tottenham Hotspurs player said, "I've had to tell the family I don't want them coming out to Russia because I'm worried about their safety. That's going to affect my preparation for games if I'm worrying about them and that's such a sad state of affairs." The England defender was weighing in on the notoriety of the racism of Russia's football fans.

For a league that always hasn't had black players, the litany of racism and race crimes in Russia is already long and shameful. According to some reports, more than 100 racial abuse incidents were recorded between 2012 and 2014 (it's perhaps telling that Russia is the only major European country that hasn't had a black player represent the nation). When former Real Madrid legend, Roberto Carlos, a black Brazilian, played for Anzhi Makhachkala from Dagestan, part of the Russian Federation, he was routinely racially abused—some fans chanted monkey chants while others hurled bananas at him.

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