Here’s what happened earlier on Friday in Seoul, South Korea.
Colombia and South Korea were playing a friendly soccer match. Both teams have qualified for 2018 FIFA World Cup. South Korea was leading the game by two goals, when at the start of the second half, a confrontation among the players escalated. It started when James Rodriguez and Jin-Su Kim went for the ball at the same time. Kim fell. James pulled Kim’s shirt to help him get up. Kim reacted and tried to slap James in the face. James fell on the pitch.
Players from both teams started arguing. Then Colombia’s Edwin Cardona grabbed the corner of his eyes to mock Chul-Soon Choi, a South Korean player. Here is an edited clip of what Cardona did (yes, yet ANOTHER example of Latin Americans getting all racist.)
Gol Caracol TV, part of one of Colombia’s largest networks, initially described Cardona’s gesture as humorous and all in good fun.
That description got slammed by Caracol’s Facebook fans and soon enough, the network was changing its description, but still. You want to know why we as Latin Americans don’t really talk about racism? Because influential media networks try to tone it all down when clear acts of racism happen, as if it was all innocent and nothing to worry about. But this time around, people weren’t having it, and it’s a pretty big deal that Caracol had to change its headline and admit that what it initially reported was just dumb.
As for Cardona? If FIFA doesn’t take action against him, FIFA is weak. And while we are at it, maybe Colombia’s national coach can stop pretending that the racist gesture wasn’t a problem?
This needs to stop.