A Basketball Fan Brings a Stuffed Toy Monkey to Root Against Nigerian Player Jeleel Akindele

Jul 17, 2017
5:07 PM

Did another racist act take place in the sports world last week? Very likely.

This time it happened in Puerto Rico.

During a playoff game between the Cariduros de Fajardo and the Vaqueros de Bayamón, a Fajardo fan brought a stuffed toy monkey dressed with the jersey of Jeleel Akindele, a Nigerian player who plays for Bayamón.

Via El NUEVO DÍA https://www.elnuevodia.com/deportes/baloncesto/nota/seregistraunincidenteracistacontraunrefuerzodebayamon-2339448/

This is Akindele’s  second season with the Bayamón team.

A journalist noticed the young man holding the stuffed toy monkey and took pictures of it. According to El Nuevo Día newspaper, someone who was with the journalist approach the young man and his family. The family did not think it was a racist act.

Fernando Quiñones, president of the National Superior Basketball (BSN), Puerto Rico’s main professional league, responded to the act saying they will be investigating the incident. “We have a behavior policy that includes these kind of expressions that are not acceptable. We are going to deal with each team,” Quiñones told El Nuevo Día.

According to Quiñones, the BSN could implement sanctions to the team that the young man was supporting. “Each team is responsible for their fans,” Quiñones said.

It is unclear whether the BSN approached the young man and his family directly. We don’t have any comments from the family.

As for Akindele, there has no been any reaction to the act that we know of.

(H/T @webdubois2014)


María Camila Montañez is a journalism student at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism’s Spanish-language program. She is originally from Colombia and tweets from @mariacmontanez.