Neymar, Mbappé and other football icons have expressed their solidarity with Real Madrid striker Vinicius Junior, once again the victim of racism in Spain. The PSG pair took to social media to lend their support to the Brazilian player.
“I am with you, Vini,” published Neymar.
“You’re not alone. We are with you and will support you, Vinicius Junior,” Mbappé wrote.
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Richarlison, Tottenham striker and teammate of Vinicius in the Brazilian national team, also reacted:
“They have always done everything to prevent black people from reaching the top… They have enslaved, marginalized and killed them. But they will never succeed in bringing down those who are destined to be great. History forgets the rats and magnifies those who fight against these bad people. We are still united.”
Ronaldo Fenômeno, Real Madrid legend and current president of Valladolid, also took a stand and strongly criticized LaLiga:
“Another racist episode in LaLiga. Again with ViniJr. Until when ? As long as there is impunity and complicity, racism will continue. It is unacceptable that the referees, the Federation and the authorities remain inactive and that the fans applaud such absurdity. That’s enough. Vini, count on me in your fight. In our fight.”
Rio Ferdinand calls for unity to support Vinicius Junior against racism
Rio Ferdinand, a former Manchester United defender and England sports commentator, also reacted, calling for unity and a reaction from different football personalities to support Vinicius Junior.
“Brother, you need protection… Who protects Vinicius Junior in Spain? He receives a red card after being strangled and facing racism during the game… How many times do we have to see this young man facing this horror??? I feel the pain, the disgust, I see that he needs help… and the authorities do nothing to help him. People must unite and demand more from the authorities that govern our sport. No one deserves this, even if some claim it. We need a unified approach, otherwise it will be suffocated again.”
These supports of the great figures of football to Vinicius Junior underline the importance of fighting against racism in sport. It is essential that concrete measures are taken by the authorities to prevent such incidents and punish those responsible. These messages of solidarity show the players’ unity in the face of this scourge and encourage meaningful change in the world of football.
During the match against Valencia, fans from the club started calling Vinicius mono, which means monkey. This has been happening with him since he got to Spain in numerous stadiums. Upset, the player pointed out one of the fans who where doing the racial abuse and game was stopped, but nothing happened.
Moments later, the Brazilian got tangled up in a brawl between players and was the only one sent off the field.
In a statement released last night, the young Real Madrid striker denounced the persistent racism within La Liga. According to him, racist insults are not uncommon and the league shows tolerance towards this scourge. Vinicius criticized governing bodies and adversaries who turned a blind eye to such unacceptable behavior. He laments that the league which has hosted great football stars is now associated with racists.
“There is a very serious problem”
Despite his gratitude to Spain, which he considers a wonderful country where he received many opportunities, Vinicius Junior expressed his disappointment with the current situation. In his statements, he apologized to the Spaniards, but pointed out that, in his country of origin, Spain is now perceived as a racist country. He admitted that he no longer had any arguments to defend this image. Strong words that reflect his total frustration.