Vinicius Jr. had had enough.
The Real Madrid striker, a magnet for standing racist chants in Spanish stadiums for the past two seasons, took to social media after he was called a monkey by fans in Valencia on Sunday. This time he took aim not only at his oppressors but also at Spain.
“It was neither the first nor the second nor the third,” wrote Vinicius Jr. in his treatise. Twitter And Instagram Accounts. “Racism is common in La Liga. He thinks the competition is normal, the federation does, and the opposition cheers. He said Spain was known as “the country of racists” in his native Brazil.
On Sunday, Vinicius Jr. was met by fans chanting the word “mono” – monkey. Before getting off the bus from Real Madrid Outside the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia. The game was briefly halted in the 71st minute when some of their detractors pointed to the referee and an anti-racism statement – part of league protocol for such matters – was read over the stadium loudspeakers to the crowd. In the end, though, it was Vinicius Jr. who was cast as the culprit: red carded in the dying minutes of injury time.
Real Madrid said they believe the abuse of the player. Qualified as a hate crime According to Spanish law, and the club said that it has filed a complaint with the relevant authorities for an investigation. The president of Spain’s football federation said on Monday that racism in the country’s stadiums is “an issue that destroys a team, an entire fanbase and an entire country.”
Racial taunts echoing through the stands in Spanish football stadiums are nothing new or unusual, but they have been particularly telling for Vinicius Jr., who has emerged as one of the league’s standout players since the departures of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
In a statement announcing an investigation into the events that took place in Valencia on Sunday, LaLiga admitted that it had been reported Nine different racist attacks With Vinicius Jr. in just the last two seasons. At that time, the player appeared on social media, writing that the attack against him was ruining the name of Spain in the world.
“A beautiful people who accepted me and loved me, but agreed to send the image of a racist country to the world,” he wrote. “I feel sorry for the Spaniards who disagree, but today in Brazil Spain is known as a racist country.”
He even pointed out that he could be expelled from the country if he does not take action against racism.
The reaction to what happened at the Mestalla has prompted fresh scrutiny of how Spanish football deals with racism in stadiums. Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti gave an unbelievable response when asked to talk about the game in a televised interview after the game. “I don’t want to talk about football,” he said. “I want to talk about what happened here.”
In the press conference afterwards, local journalists tried to correct Ancelotti’s assessment, saying that the entire stadium was to blame, that he had misunderstood the chant. Valencia officials have since denied widespread racism in the stands, despite videos appearing online showing large crowds chanting “Mono”. Some reporters pointed out that most of Ancelotti’s fans were actually chanting “tonto”, a silly word in Spanish. “Whether it was ‘Mono’ or ‘Tonto’, the referee stopped the game to open the racism protocol,” Ancelotti replied. “If you sing ‘Tonto,’ he won’t do it.” Contact the judge.
Within hours, La Liga CEO Javier Tebas engaged in a back-and-forth exchange with Vinicius Jr. on Twitter. In it, Tebas defended Spain, outlined the League’s efforts to combat racist behavior, and criticized Vinicius for not attending two meetings to discuss the abuses suffered by Tebas.
Tebas’ statement drew an angry response from the player.
“Once again, the president of La Liga appears on social media to attack me instead of criticizing the racists,” Vinicius wrote. “What you say and pretend you didn’t read it, your championship image is shot. Look at the responses to your posts and you will be surprised. Abandoning yourself puts you on par with racists.
The incident drew criticism and messages of support from around the world.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told a press conference at the end of the G7 summit in Japan that they wanted to send a message of solidarity to Vinicius, saying that “insulting in every stadium is “unfair”. A place to play.”
“In the middle of the 21st century, it is impossible to have such strong racial hatred in many football stadiums,” Lula said.
Current and former players have rallied around Vinicius for not doing much to end racism in Spain, which some commentators in the country have described as an attempt to gain an advantage on the field.
Kylian Mbappé, who moved to Spain last season to join Vinicius at Madrid, posted a message of support on Instagram. Brazilian star Neymar, who was racially abused while playing for Barcelona in Spain, also joined.
League released. press release It detailed its efforts to eradicate racism in its stadiums. The league said it was working with Valencia authorities to investigate the incident and vowed to take legal action if a hate crime was discovered. He is still limited in the type of punishments he can impose on clubs. For example, stadium closures can only be sanctioned by the National Football Federation.
The latest incident will put new scrutiny on the federation and Spanish football, which is now seeking international support to work with Portugal and Morocco to secure hosting rights for the 2030 World Cup.
“We have a problem of behavior, of education, of racism,” Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish Football Federation, said in a press conference on Monday. “And as long as a fan or a group of fans are insulting someone based on their sexual orientation or skin color or faith, we have a serious problem.”