Another Liverpool player Pepe Reina in race row


We sometimes forget-to our peril- the battles we have fought here in the UK against racism and racial stereotyping.

Most of the readers of this article will not remember seeing the type of derogatory stereotyping in cinema and TV advertising, which at the time was not only common place but won awards and acclaimed fame. For example, some 40 years ago the cigarette company Benson and Hedges commissioned the nations number one advertising company Saatchi and Saatchi to make a film for the Silk Cut brand. So prestigious was this account that mini-films with huge budgets would be made. One film in particularly paraded the British Film the Zulu’s.

‘ At the height of the Mbongo uprising a garrison of 80 were surrounded by 30,000 hostile warriors’, Queue a blackened up actor with a plumy English voice dressed as Zulu warrior extolling the virtues of the cigarette brand before threatening to put the English warriors in the ‘pot’.

Many of us thought these types of videos would be consigned to the museum of very bad taste. Not so. Today in Spain Groupama Seguros –Insurance company- are running a similar distasteful ad in a tribal scenario in which once again a blackened up ‘African king’ speaking in native tongue is presented with the -and you couldn’t make this up-Liverpool and Spanish international goalkeeper Pepe Reina- Reina in Spanish means Queen. So the joke is the African –eye rolling homosexual –King chooses his Queen, Pepe Reina, who looks to the camera for help to check his insurance.



All very funny if you live in the dark ages and you have no idea or don’t care just how offensive this is. But I’m afraid that’s Spain and much of Latin America too. Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that the former Spanish football manager Louis Aragones  was outraged, and refused to pay a paltry fine for calling Thierry Henry, for no good reason, ‘ Negro de  mierda’. ‘ …Black  shit’. More recently the Uruguay President defended Luis Suarez , for saying, among other comments, ‘No hablo con negros’ . I don’t speak to Black people’.

Despite these shockingly disrespectful ads and comments much of Spain and most of Latin America would argue that there is no racism in their countries. Well I guess on one level if you don’t acknowledge it, you have nothing to confront. But one can only be surprised at Liverpool's  Pepe Reina, who has lived in the UK for a long and is acutely aware of how his  football club has been  embroiled in an unnecessary and protracted  race row.

OBV has contacted the company via their publicist to make an official complaint.

I guess it just goes to show just how far we have come here in the UK.

Simon Woolley

Archived Comments

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Racist football players

I believe for example in the case of Suarez that if you come to play football in THIS country and you make racist slurs on the pitch then the player should be deported. With regards to the Spanish player's decision to take part in something with racial utones he should be banned from playing for the rest of the season. There has to be some kind of serious action here because why do we want racists coming into this country when we already have plenty of our own? Suarez makes me sick, little does he realise that even his ethnicity,colouring, complexion, language could be subjected to racism. Maybe if he wasnt living in his prem footballer bubble he would know what it can be like for people of colour living in this country. I dont ever condone racism but it would be justice if one day someone refused to shake his hand for being a foreigner! Happened to my dad many times in the past.

Cool post

Sorry to be a spelling Hitler but it's Pepe Reina and not "Riena". Absolutely pathetic that you couldn't even bother to spell the man's name right.

Unless he was expected to pay

Unless he was expected to pay his fine in chickens I think you'll find it was a "paltry" fine that Aragones received