Soccer: Real Madrid’s Vinícius Jr. Accuses Spanish League of Racism
Real Madrid’s Vinícius Jr. has accused the Spanish soccer league, La Liga, of racism after a portion of fans were seen directing racist abuse at the Brazilian forward on Sunday. The incident has been widely condemned.
- Real Madrid’s Vinícius Jr. has accused the Spanish soccer league, La Liga, of racism after a portion of fans were seen directing racist abuse at the Brazilian forward on Sunday. The incident has been widely condemned.1
- Vinícius Jr. was reportedly subject to multiple instances of racist abuse during the game at Valencia's Mestalla Stadium — at one point, prompting officials to halt the game while an announcement warning against racist language was aired by the stadium's loudspeakers.2
- Ultimately, Vinícius was sent off in the final minutes of the game after tempers flared and an altercation erupted with Valencia striker Hugo Duro. The red card came after Vinícius's arm struck Duro's face, although it appeared as though Vinícius had been trying to free himself of a chokehold that Duro had inflicted on him seconds earlier. The game ended 1-0 in Valencia's favor.3
- Following the game, Vinícius took to social media to call out La Liga. "The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi today belongs to racists," he said. "It wasn't 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."1
- In turn, La Liga Pres. Javier Tebas accused Vinícius of twice not showing up for meetings to discuss what can be done in instances of racism. The footballer hit back, saying: "Once again, instead of criticizing racists, the president of La Liga appears on social media to attack me."4
- According to reports, two fans who directed racist chants at Vinícius were identified and are expected to be given lifetime stadium bans by Valencia. In a statement, La Liga said it's investigating and would take "appropriate legal action" if a hate crime was identified, calling on people to submit any relevant footage.1
Sources: 1BBC News, 2CNN, 3LBC, and 4Sky News.
- Narrative A, as provided by Al Jazeera. This is a disgraceful incident and, unfortunately, not the first time it has happened in La Liga. The game should have been stopped and La Liga needs to take meaningful action to prevent this type of incident from occurring again. This type of racism is unacceptable in 2023.
- Narrative B, as provided by CNN. While this is an indefensible incident, La Liga does not actually have the authority to punish fans in this situation. It can only pass on the information to the Royal Spanish Football Federation or local prosecutors before relevant action can be taken.