Inter's Juan Says Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain Uttered Racial Slurs During Match

Tim KeeneyContributor IMay 5, 2014

Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Napoli and Lazio, at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy, Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Gennaro Giorgio)
Gennaro Giorgio/Associated Press

Inter defender Juan Jesus claimed he was the victim of a verbally racist attack from Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain two years ago. 

In an interview with Esporte Espectacular, via's Michelle Bonsu, the 22-year-old explained how Higuain—who now plays with Napoli but was with Spanish club Real Madrid at the time—spewed racial epithets at him during a friendly between Brazil and Argentina in the United States: 

During a normal clash, I stole the ball from him. 

But during that time, he called me a monkey and worse things. I was stunned for about ten seconds, as I wondered why someone so well-known [throughout the football world] would behave that way.

It really saddened me, and I felt helpless…I didn’t know what to do.

Unfortunately, racism has often reared its ugly head across the soccer world—and perhaps most notably in Europe. 

Most recently, a Villarreal supporter hurled a banana at Brazilian right-back Dani Alves during the side's La Liga contest with Barcelona. To make matters worse, a massive crowd joined to support the man who threw the fruit. 

Mario Balotelli, the 23-year-old eccentric striker, has often been at the center of racist attacks in his home country of Italy. 

It hasn't just been soccer, either. 

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has made national headlines for his racist comments, which earned him a lifetime ban from the NBA. 

These, of course, are just a few of the terrible stories that are becoming far too common across the sports world, and although Higuain's attacks on Juan are reportedly two years old, the problem doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon—if ever. 

We can only hope that as more stories such as this one are made public, the problem becomes more illuminated and anti-racism support continues to grow.