Alleged facts

It was recently announced that the board of directors of the Costa Rican soccer team Saprissa has decided to dismiss the services of coach Jeaustin Campos after he was denounced for allegedly uttering racist insults against one of his players, Javon East.

The complaint was filed with the Association of Professional Players of Costa Rica (Asojupro) against the coach, who allegedly used racist words to get the player’s attention.

It is mentioned that some of the words were segregationist adjectives such as “black bastard” and “fucking nigger”.

After reporting the incident to Asojupro, this association issued the complaint to the management board of the Saprissa club, so that action could be taken. It was at that time that Campos was dismissed. The action was also supported by the Global Coalition Against Systemic Racism.

Javon Eats also reportedly turned to Deportivo Saprissa’s manager, Angel Catalina, but his response was not as expected by the plaintiffs, as he normalized the situation by saying: “In Costa Rica it is very normal for black players to be treated that way”. Asojupro will continue with an internal investigation regarding the manager’s actions.

The response from Jeaustin Campos and the media

Jeaustin Campos. Retrieved from: Instagram.

For his part, Jeaustin Campos will take legal action against the Saprissa club for injustice and damage to his image. In the press conference given together with his lawyers he stated that:

They did not even give me a chance to be heard, nor my witnesses. Saprissa’s protocol was to judge, condemn and make it public. This servant is deprived of the right of every human being to defend himself. The general lynching, the media cannibalism we have suffered.”

In addition to this, his lawyers assured that Campos never insulted the player and that he is not a racist person.

On top of that, having been a public denouncement, members of the music industry, producers and beauty queens parts of the Afro-descendant community in the country have taken a stand and commented on the situation. Read the comments in this article of Diario Extra

Acts of racism and discrimination in national soccer are nothing new. In fact, it is very internalized and normalized in Costa Rica’s sports culture. This fact contrasts with Costa Rica’s regimentation of the Law Against Violence and Racism in Sports Events since 2020.

Finally, because it was a denouncement of such a sensitive issue (and because it was so mediatized), one of the parties accelerated the decision making process. On top of that, human rights reactions have been heard in the media.

We will follow the case closely.

Sensorial Sunsets