Mexican Politician Causes Outrage After Racist Post About Ronaldinho

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THE tone of the commotion over Ronaldinho’s surprise signing for the Mexican club Querétaro has moved from general enthusiasm to outrage in response to a Facebook post by a local politician calling the Brazilian legend an ape.

Carlos Treviño’s outburst was sparked by the traffic jams caused by Ronaldinho’s presentation to fans at half-time in Querétaro’s Friday night draw against Puebla.

“I try to be tolerant but I DETEST FOOTBALL and the dumbing down phenomenon it produces,” Treviño wrote. “I detest it all the more because people obstruct and flood the main avenues, causing me to spend two hours getting home … and all to see AN APE … A Brazilian, but an ape nonetheless. This has become a ridiculous circus.”

The post was soon deleted, but was nevertheless picked up by local media and sparked a social media furore. The feed #TodosSomosSimios or WeAreAllApes gathered force over the weekend and remained a trending topic in Mexico on Monday.

Meanwhile the club, known as The White Roosters of Querétaro, issued a statement on Sunday demanding “exemplary punishment” for Treviño.

Soon after that, Mexico’s national commission against discrimination announced on Twitter that it has opened an investigation into the “racist expressions” against Ronaldinho.

Treviño’s post also promoted his own right-wing National Action Party to announce it would launch an inquiry. The party’s regional chief, José Baez, said he would be seeking the politician’s expulsion from the party.

Ronaldinho did not play during Friday’s match, though he walked on to the pitch during half-time to say a few words and kick a few balls into a packed stadium hung with huge banners bidding him “Welcome”.

During a press conference earlier in the day in Mexico City, the 34-year-old said he had signed for Querétaro after leaving the Brazilian club Atlético Mineiro in July, because “I haven’t ever won anything in Mexico”.

Ronaldinho said his decision was also influenced by his brother Roberto’s period as a player for the Mexican team Tecos in 2000, though few Mexicans remember this. The former world player of the year added that the Mexican defender Rafael Márquez, his friend and former team-mate at Barcelona, had always given him a good impression of the country as well.

In response to a question about his reputation for wild nights out, Ronaldinho said: “I hope to continue living in the same way I have always done, winning titles.” – The Guardian