A show of solidarity has emerged for Brazilian striker Vinicius Junior (23-Real Madrid) after he was the victim of racism on the football pitch.
All Real players wore jerseys with Vinicius’ number 20 on them to protest and condemn racism before their match against Rayo Vallecano in the 36th round of the 2022-2023 Spanish Primera Liga at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain, on 25 September.
Fans chanted Vinicius’ name as Real players took to the field, including ‘Captain’ Karim Benzema, who wore an armband with an anti-racism message.메이저사이트
“Support Vinicius” and “No to racism” banners were also visible throughout the stands. The home fans stood and applauded Vinicius in the first 20 minutes. The away team, Rayo Vallecano, also held up a placard that read “Get racism out of football”.
After scoring the winning goal, Brazilian striker Rodriguez, like Vinicius, performed a gesture of protest against racism by raising his right fist and bowing his head.
“I’m so grateful,” said Vinicius, who had his sending-off from the previous game overturned but was sidelined with a minor knee injury. It gives me strength.”
Vinicius was the victim of a vicious racial slur against Valencia at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium on 22 February, which led to the game being stopped for nearly 10 minutes. Throughout the match, a number of spectators shouted derogatory comments about his skin colour, including “black monkey”.
Real coach Ancelotti said: “It’s something we can’t overlook. When racism happens during a match, you have to stop, clean up and move on,” he said. After the game, the ‘victim’ Vinicius took to social media to say, “This is not the first time. Racism has become an everyday occurrence in Primera Liga. Spain is a racist country if you look at the reaction of the secretariat,” he wrote on social media.
Brazil, Vinicius’ home country, has taken steps to protest and oppose racism against him on a national level, including briefly switching off the lights of a statue of Jesus in Rio de Janeiro.
The outpouring of support against racism and for Vinicius has also prompted Spanish Primera Liga president Javier Tebas, 63, to take a different stance.
“Neither Spain nor La Liga tolerates racism, and it’s unfair for Vinicius to accuse us of it,” he said before the solidarity move. “We have reported nine cases of racist insults this season, eight of which were directed at Vinicius. Cases of racism are extremely rare and we are committed to eliminating all of them.”
“Before you criticise and insult La Liga, understand what we’ve been doing,” he later said, seemingly attacking the victim, Vinicius.
However, as the solidarity movement gained momentum, Tebas was interviewed by BBC-ESPN and others and said, “I didn’t mean to attack Vinicius, and I apologise if it came across that way. I apologise.”
It’s not that La Liga hasn’t done a good job of tackling racism on and off the pitch, as Tebas said, but it’s hard to say it’s doing a good job when you look at the way the head of an organisation treats a victim of racism. It’s too late, but it’s time for a sincere apology to Vinicius, along with fundamental measures to prevent it from happening again.