Real Madrid’s Vinícius Jr. Experiences Racist Chants During Match With Valencia CF
Brazilian football player Vinícius Jr., who is one of Real Madrid’s forwards, was subjected to racist chants after his team was defeated by Valencia in Spain’s La Liga tournament.
During the second half of the game at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Spain, Vinícius Jr. called out a fan for alleged abuse and began arguing with the crowd. The referee’s official report of the game described the incident as having taken place in the 73rd minute of the game, when a spectator began shouting “Monkey, monkey” at Vinícius Jr., “which led to the activation of the racism protocol” and halting the game for several minutes until the stadium made an announcement, asking fans to stop insulting and throwing objects at the players.
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Vinícius Jr. was later sent off the field after receiving a straight red card for slapping Valencia’s Hugo Duro, who managed to escape punishment despite grabbing Vinícius Jr. by the neck.
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Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid’s manager, commented on the situation post-match. “I don’t want to talk about football today … when a whole stadium is chanting ‘monkey’ at a player and the manager has to think about taking off a player because of it, there is something bad happening in this league,” he said.
The Italian team manager later added that he believes matches should be called off after instances of racism. “I’m very sad because La Liga is a league with big teams with a good atmosphere,” he said. “This we have to get rid of. We are in 2023, racism does not have to exist … the only way for me is to stop the game.”
The Real Madrid forward also took to his social media platforms to share his thoughts. In an Instagram Story posted on Sunday, Vinícius Jr. wrote “The prize that racists won was my expulsion! ‘This isn’t football, this is @LaLiga’.” He also took to Twitter to post a lengthy statement, which translated read “It was not the first time, nor the second, nor the third.”
“Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition thinks it’s normal, the Federation does too and the opponents encourage it. I’m so sorry. The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi today belongs to racists,” the 22-year-old football player wrote.
“A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love, but which agreed to export the image of a racist country to the world. I’m sorry for the Spaniards who don’t agree, but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists,” he said. “And unfortunately, for everything that happens each week, I have no defense. I agree. But I am strong and I will fight to the end against racists. Even if that is far from here.”
Following the events, Real Madrid quoted the team manager’s response on their social media on Sunday and released an official statement on Monday, writing “Real Madrid C. F. strongly condemns the events that took place yesterday against our player Vinícius Junior. These events represent a direct attack on the social and democratic model of coexistence of our State based on the rule of law.”
“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, in order for the facts to be investigated and for those responsible to be held accountable,” the statement read.
“Given the seriousness of the events that took place, Real Madrid has appealed to the Attorney General’s Office, without prejudice to its standing as a private prosecutor in any proceedings that may be initiated.”
Valencia also released a response shortly after the match, but denied Ancelotti’s claim that the stadium was chanting “monkey.” Translated, their statement read “Valencia CF wishes to publicly condemn any type of insult, attack or downgrading in football. The club, in its dedication to the values of respect and sportsmanship, reaffirms publicly its position against physical and verbal violence in stadiums and regrets the events which occurred during the game of Matchday 35 of La Liga against Real Madrid.”
“Although it is an isolated incident, insults towards any footballer of the rival team have no place in football and do not fit with the values and identity of Valencia CF. The club is investigating the events and will take the most severe measures. In the same vein, Valencia CF condemns whichever offense and asks for the maximum respect towards our own fans,” the post said before adding, “Valencia CF can’t tolerate someone accusing our fans of being racist, we strongly reject Ancelotti’s comments.”
La Liga also released a statement of their own, announcing a thorough investigation into the events that took place at the Mestalla stadium. Several prominent football stars, including former player Rio Ferdinand, have come to Vinícius Jr.’s defense and have expressed outrage and support for the player.
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