Brazilian football turns its back on black coaches – 04/28/2022

São Paulo, April 28, 2022 (AFP) – The same Brazil that pays tribute to its black stars, is turning its back when someone wants to become a coach, as a result of the racism and prejudice inherited from slavery that continues to wreak havoc in the country, according to researchers.

Of the 20 teams in the Brazilian Championship, only one coach is black: Jair Ventura, from Goiás, son of three-time world champion Jairzinho.

And the most common thing about every season is that there is no player, despite the long list of historical black players, starting with Pele.

“The most impressive thing about this data is that there are no black coaches, because this is normal, and society looks at it as normal. It is strange that this controversy does not exist in Brazilian football,” says CEO Marcelo Carvalho. From the Observatory on racial discrimination in football.

“Brazilian society is not surprised that there are no black people in these places. Why? Because it is not uncommon in Brazil to have black people in these places. Football ends up being a repetition of this racist society,” explains Carvalho. France Press agency.

Although blacks and mestizos make up 55.8% of Brazil’s population of 213 million, they are only 24.4% in Congress and 29.9% in administrative positions, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

– ‘Structural bias’ – Football is no stranger to these trends in America’s last abolitionist state (1888).

You can count on the coaches who identify themselves as black and who have managed the teams in Brazil in recent years: Andrade, Cristovao Borges, Marcao, Roger Machado, Jair Ventura…

Although coach changes in Brazil are very frequent, some, such as Andrade, the Brazilian Flamengo champion in 2009, are no longer remembered in the market.

This short list could also include Vanderlei Luxemburgo, the second black man to captain the Brazilian national team (1998-2000), after Gentile Cardoso in 1959. But like him, many abstain or delay in recognizing themselves as part of this race.

“Yes, there is a structural bias (…) we have to fight, yes, because there is a bias against the black coach,” said the Seleção coach, Tite in October.

This distinction is due to the fact that coaches, unlike players, occupy positions of authority, say the experts who were consulted. And along this path, prejudices appear in the time of slavery, artificial to question his sanity and his leadership.

“After the end of slavery in Brazil, we never had a policy of opportunity for blacks, so it was always in the mind of society that black people do not occupy these spaces because they do not want to or because they are in fact intellectually inferior,” Carvalho explains.

Little commitment – Roger Machado says that for 47 years of his life he has been the victim of discriminatory acts both in and out of football, such as when he was mistaken for a security guard escorting one of his daughters, as a result of a mixed marriage.

“In my first job as a coach, many times, when I was sacked, they questioned my ability to manage groups, and that was one of the great skills I’ve always had as a player, as a captain, as a captain,” Roger told AFP.

After being suspended in 2009, the former defender began his coaching career and has already coached Atlético Mineiro, Palmeiras, Fluminense and Bahia. He currently leads Grêmio, who is competing in the Second Division.

Although Roger highlights developments against racism in recent times, which he attributes to the struggles of organized movements, he does not see much commitment from the footballing world to force change.

“I think there is a lot of room to get many athletes and many coaches involved, but I don’t charge that because I know everyone’s conscience comes in their own time,” he explained.

Sociologist Danielle Sereno, who specializes in racial inequality at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, believes that racism in football and society can be eradicated through education and public policies.

“We already have a public quota policy for universities, we already have a public quota policy for public competitions. Why don’t we have at least one proposal for a quota for black judges and coaches?”

Brazil, however, is no exception in terms of a shortage of black technicians. At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, only one of the 32 teams, including the five African teams, had a black coach: Senegal, with Aliou Cisse.

raa / app / cb

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