Racist chants were directed at Real Madrid’s 22-year-old midfielder Vinicius Junior during the team’s 1-0 loss to Valencia on Sunday. The following article includes potentially upsetting and offensive language. Vinicius Jr, a Real Madrid winger, declared on Sunday that LaLiga “belongs to the racists” after receiving racial insults while playing for Valencia. Real Madrid has registered the incident as a hate crime. Real Madrid’s 1-0 loss to Valencia was marred by taunts directed towards Vinicius from a portion of the Mestalla crowd. The match was stopped for 10 minutes in the second half when the 22-year-old seized the referee and pointed at fans he believed had attacked him.
Vinicius Jr believes racism is “normal” after crowd chants during Real Madrid’s league match.
Vinicius was sent out for violent behaviour after an incident with striker Hugo Duro in stoppage time. LaLiga was instructed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino to “stop talking, start acting” and to implement five steps to combat racism. These included educating students and banning offenders from stadiums around the world.
“Real Madrid strongly condemns the events that took place yesterday against our player Vinicius Junior,” the club said in a statement released Monday. These happenings are an assault on the rule of law–based social and democratic model of cohabitation upon which our country was founded.
He tweeted after the game: “It wasn’t the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is every day in LaLiga. In football, they think it’s normal; the federation does too – and the opponent encourages it.
“I’m so sad. The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano [Ronaldo] and [Lionel] Messi today belongs to racism.
“A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and I love, but which agreed to export the image of a racist country to the world.
“I’m sorry for the Spaniards who disagree, but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists. And unfortunately, I have no defence for something that happens each week. I let it happen.
“But I am strong and I will go to the end against racists. Even if it is far from here.”
On Monday night, he tweeted: “Every round away from home is an unpleasant surprise. And there were many this season. Death wishes, hanged doll, many criminal screams… All registered.
“But the speech always falls on ‘isolated cases’, ‘a fan’. No, these are not isolated cases. They are continuous episodes spread across several cities in Spain (and even in a television programme).
“The evidence is there in the video. Now I ask: how many of these racists had names and photos exposed on websites? I answer to make it easier: zero—none to tell a sad story or make those fake public apologies.
“What is missing to criminalise these people? And punish clubs sportingly? Why don’t sponsors charge LaLiga? Don’t televisions bother to broadcast this barbarity every weekend?
“The problem is very serious and communications no longer work. Not blaming me to justify criminal acts either. You are not football, you are inhuman.”
He added: “Black and imposing. Christ the Redeemer was just like that. An action of solidarity that moves me. But I want, above all, to inspire and bring more light to our struggle.
“I appreciate all the chain of affection and support I’ve received in the last few months, both in Brazil and worldwide. I know exactly who’s who. Count on me because the good ones are the majority, and I won’t give up.
“I have a purpose in life and if I have to suffer more and more so that future generations don’t go through similar situations, I’m ready and prepared.”
“Real Madrid believes that such attacks also constitute a hate crime and has therefore filed the corresponding report with the Attorney General’s Office, specifically with the Prosecutor’s Office against crimes of hatred and discrimination, for the facts to be investigated and for those responsible to be held accountable.”