Vinicius Jr. has had enough.
The Real Madrid forward, who has drawn racist chants from the stands of Spain’s stadiums for the past two seasons, has been called a monkey by Valencia fans following his latest assault on Sunday. criticized in the media. This time, he has set his sights not only on his abusers, but on Spain itself.
“This was not the first time, nor the second time, nor the third time,” Vinicius Junior wrote on his blog. twitter and Instagram account. “Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition considers it normal, the federations do the same and opponents encourage it,” he said. In his native Brazil, he has become known as a “racist country.”
On Sunday, Vinicius Junior was greeted by fans shouting the word “mono” (monkey). Before he got off the Real Madrid bus Outside the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia. In the 71st minute, the match was suspended after he pointed out some of the assaults to the referee, and an anti-racism statement, part of the league’s rules for such incidents, was read to the crowd over the stadium’s loudspeakers. However, it was Vinicius Junior who was cast as the villain by the end. He wrestled with a charging opponent and received a red card near the end of stoppage time.
Real Madrid say they believe the abuse was directed at the player recognized as a hate crime Under Spanish law, the club announced it had lodged a complaint with the relevant authorities seeking an investigation. The president of the Spanish Football Federation on Monday acknowledged that racism is a serious problem in the Spanish game, calling it a problem that “defiles the whole team, the whole fan base and the whole country”.
Cries of racial abuse in the stands of Spain’s football stadiums are neither uncommon nor new, but Vinicius has emerged as one of the league’s signature players since the departures of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. It is designed specifically for juniors.
In a statement announcing an investigation into the events in Valencia on Sunday, La Liga confirmed the reports. 9 racist abuse cases In the last two seasons alone, he has faced Vinicius Junior. By then, the player had taken to social media to say his attack on himself was damaging Spain’s image around the world.
“A beautiful country that welcomes me and that I love, but has agreed to export its racist image to the world,” he wrote. “I’m sorry to the Spaniards who disagree, but today in Brazil Spain is known as a racist country.”
He even suggested that he could be deported if he didn’t take action against racism.
The reaction to what happened at Mestalla has brought renewed attention to how Spanish football deals with racism inside stadiums. In a television interview immediately after the game, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti gave an incredible reaction when asked about the game. “I don’t want to talk about football,” he said. “I want to tell you what happened here.”
At a subsequent press conference, local journalists tried to correct Anceloti’s assessment that the entire stadium was responsible, claiming he misheard the chant. Valencian authorities subsequently denied widespread racism in the stands, even though online videos showed a large portion of the crowd chanting “things.” Some reporters suggested to Anceloti that the majority of supporters were actually chanting “tonto,” the Spanish word for stupid. “Whether it’s ‘Mono’ or ‘Tonto’, the referee stopped the match to start the racist protocol,” Ancelotti replied. “If you just say ‘Tonto’ he won’t do that. Tell the referee.”
Within hours, La Liga CEO Javier Tebas had a conversation with Vinicius Junior on Twitter. In it, Tebas defends Spain, details the efforts the league has taken to address racist behavior, and talks about failing to attend two meetings to discuss the abuse he suffered. rebuked Mr. Vinicius.
Tebas’ remarks angered the player.
“Once again, La Liga president appeared on social media to attack me instead of criticizing racists,” Vinicius wrote. “Your championship image is being hit by this just by pretending you aren’t talking and reading. Omitting yourself only equates to being a racist.”
The incident attracted messages of criticism and support from around the world.
At a press conference after the G7 summit in Japan, Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva said he wanted to send a message of solidarity, saying Vinicius “is unjust to be insulted in every stadium”. rice field. where he plays. “
“In the middle of the 21st century, it’s impossible to have such strong racial prejudices in so many football stadiums,” Lula said.
Current and former players also rallied around Vinicius, denouncing the Spanish authorities for not doing more to stamp out racism, but some commentators in the country were always on the field. He sees it as a mere effort to gain the upper hand.
Kylian Mbappe, who almost moved to Spain to join Vinicius in Madrid last season, posted a message of support on Instagram. Joining him is Brazilian star Neymar, who also faced racial abuse while playing for Barcelona, Spain.
La Liga published statement He detailed his efforts to eradicate racism in stadiums. The league said it was working with Valencian authorities to investigate what happened and vowed to take legal action if a hate crime was confirmed. Still, the types of penalties that can be imposed on clubs are limited. For example, stadium closures are only permitted by national football federations.
The incident brings fresh scrutiny to the federation and Spanish football as it seeks global help to secure the right to host the 2030 World Cup, as part of a joint effort with Portugal and Morocco. means to be
“We have behavior, education and racism problems,” Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales said at a press conference on Monday. “And as long as there is a fan or group of fans who insult someone based on their sexual orientation or skin color or beliefs, we are in serious trouble.”