Vinicius Jr. “Spain Has a Racist Problem”


Interviewer: Now, the president of Brazil has slammed racist abuse aimed at Real Madrid star, Vinicius Jr. that’s after the Brazilian player was targeted during a Spanish League match at Valencia.

Vinicius Jr.

The game was temporarily stopped after he said a fan behind one of the goals began insulting him. It actually ended up with Junior, who suffered the consequences about 97 minutes into the game, he was suspended for an altercation with another player, something his coach said was understandable, given the circumstances.

Well, for the latest on this story, let’s bring in France 24, Sarah Morris in Madrid. Sarah, tell us a bit more about the reaction that’s been coming into this since then.

Sarah: Well, there’s really been an outpouring of support for Vinicius Jr. after that racist slur involving as well, potentially more than just one fan in the stadium.

The Liga has said that it will be fully investigating what exactly fans in the stadium did. But Vinicius Jr. has said that this isn’t the first, the second or the third time he’s suffered racism from fans in Spanish stadiums, and he’s had all sorts of players throughout the world saying that they are with him expressing their solidarity.

You mentioned the Brazilian president, Lula da Silva, even speaking about this on the sidelines of the G7 Conference in Japan. Basically saying that this is injust that a poor boy who’s on his way to becoming potentially the best football player in the world, has to suffer these types of attacks.

And he says, “We can’t allow fascism and racism to take over football stadiums.” Many commentators here and around the rest of the world are really calling for the authorities to do more, saying that UEFA, FIFA, and the La Liga are not doing enough to stop this kind of racist abuse that goes on in Spanish stadiums.

Interviewer: Right, Sarah, and as you were mentioning, Vinicius Jr. has said that this kind of abuse has been a regular occurrence since he first moved to Spain five years ago. How bad has this kind of racism, would you say in Spain? Is there some sort of sense that this could be a wake-up call for the country?

Sarah: Well, Vinicius Jr. himself has suffered incidents involving racist slurs with some people chanting monkey and making monkey noises. That’s quite common, or at least it’s not uncommon from time to time. That happens when players of color are on the pitch.

And what has happened is that La Liga has on a number of occasions referred these instances to the judicial authorities who have investigated them. And one of those incidents that is being investigated involves an effigy that was hung up outside the Real Madrid training ground.

The critics would say that the problem is the Spanish justice system is not adequately equipped or not taken seriously enough this kind of racist abuse. And sometimes they have archived the complaints saying that they are not sufficient to warrant legal action.

Real Madrid Football Club has just issued a statement saying that it will be going to the state lawyer to say that this is a hate crime, this racist incident after the Valencia Stadium and they will be asking for it to be treated seriously, to be investigated to drive this kind of discrimination out of the stadiums.

Interviewer: Sarah, thank you for that. France 24, Sarah Morris reporting from Real Madrid.

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