Sports

Alves surprised by support after racist taunt with banana, slams 'backward' Spain

Italian premier Matteo Renzi, left, and Italian national soccer team coach Cesare Prandelli share a banana in solidarity to Barcelona Brazilian player Dani Alves, during a ceremony in Rome, Monday, April 28, 2014. Alves, who is black, was about to take a corner in Sunday's 3-2 win at Villarreal's El Madrigal Stadium when a banana landed on the pitch in front of him. The Brazil international picked it up, peeled it and ate some of it before throwing the rest aside. After the match, Alves said humor was the best way to combat racism in sport. That sentiment has led fellow football players, officials and even political figures from around the globe to respond with solidarity by picturing themselves eating a banana. (AP Photo/Roberto Monaldo, Lapresse) ITALY OUT

Italian premier Matteo Renzi, left, and Italian national soccer team coach Cesare Prandelli share a banana in solidarity to Barcelona Brazilian player Dani Alves, during a ceremony in Rome, Monday, April 28, 2014. Alves, who is black, was about to take a corner in Sunday's 3-2 win at Villarreal's El Madrigal Stadium when a banana landed on the pitch in front of him. The Brazil international picked it up, peeled it and ate some of it before throwing the rest aside. After the match, Alves said humor was the best way to combat racism in sport. That sentiment has led fellow football players, officials and even political figures from around the globe to respond with solidarity by picturing themselves eating a banana. (AP Photo/Roberto Monaldo, Lapresse) ITALY OUT  (The Associated Press)

Barcelona defender Dani Alves is grateful for the support he's received since a spectator threw a banana at him during a match.

However, he called Spain "backward" in its fight against racism.

Alves, a Brazilian who is black, was ready to take a corner during a Spanish league match Sunday when the Villareal fan threw a banana at him. Alves picked it up, peeled it and ate some of it before throwing the rest aside.

Soccer players, celebrities and politicians flooded social media sites with pictures of themselves eating bananas in support of Alves.

The player told Brazil's Radio Globo he "was just trying to use a positive attitude to counter a negative attitude."

Alves says he'd like to post the Villarreal spectator's picture on the Internet to shame him.