In case your faith in soccer fans wasn’t shaken enough already this week, the Everton Luiz saga gained two ugly new chapters since Monday. The Brazilian midfielder, who was the victim of racial abuse during a game between his club Partizan Belgrade and local rivals FK Rad, was verbally attacked again, this time by both his own manager and the Vice-President of FK Rad.
First came Marko Nikolic, the current Partizan Belgrade manager, who said that Luiz should be punished for giving the abusive Rad fans the middle finger. “Everton should not have reacted, but something made him react, did it not? Both sides of the incident are to be punished.”
While it’s strange that Nikolic would want one of his own stars suspended, an incident in the manager’s recent past can put this into better context. Nikolic was fired from Slovenian club Olimpija Ljubljana in April of 2016 for calling one of his players a “black idiot” due to over-celebrating a goal. The incident saw him receive a seven-game ban from the Slovenian FA for “clear racism,” a ban that didn’t end up mattering when Olimpija parted ways with the manager.
As if that wasn’t enough, Luiz was also the subject of a Facebook rant by Jelena Polic, who serves as FK Rad’s Vice-President. In the now-deleted post, Polic tries to victim-blame Luiz, saying that he insulted Rad player Nikola Drincic, on top of throwing up the middle finger at the crowd post-game.
She goes on to say that the widely circulated photo of Luiz crying while leaving the field was full of “fake tears,” before dipping into the nationalist insult toolkit by telling the midfielder to go back to Brazil and “show his dark fingers” there. Just to top off the racist ice cream sundae, Polic ends her post with sarcastic smilies after parroting Luiz’s plea for “NO TO RACISM” in soccer.
As of now, no suspension has been handed down to Luiz, while FK Rad has seen its stadium banned while the Serbian FA investigates the incident.