Vinícius Jr. Racial Abuse Prompts Arrests, Stadium Closure
In the wake of racist abuse directed at Real Madrid soccer star Vinícius Jr. over the weekend, Spanish police on Tuesday said they arrested a total of seven people on hate crime charges in connection with multiple incidents.
- In the wake of racist abuse directed at Real Madrid soccer star Vinícius Jr. over the weekend, Spanish police on Tuesday said they arrested a total of seven people on hate crime charges in connection with multiple incidents.1
- Three people were arrested in Valencia after the city's club faced off against Real Madrid on Sunday. The game was temporarily halted after fans were seen calling Vinícius a monkey and making monkey gestures.1
- Spain's governing body of soccer also announced that the club was fined €45K ($48.5K) and that a section of Mestalla Stadium, where the abuse was said to originate from, will be closed for five games. It also overturned a red card received by Vinícius, stating that the video review failed to show the referee the full incident that included Vinícius being grabbed around the neck by an opposing player.1
- Meanwhile, Spanish police arrested an additional four people in Madrid in connection to an incident dating back to January where a black effigy wearing a Vinícius jersey was seen hanging by the neck from a highway bridge near Real Madrid's training ground in the capital.2
- A banner in the red and white colors of the city's rival team Atlético Madrid was also seen hanging from the bridge with the message: "Madrid hates Real." Police did not explain why action against the four suspects was not taken previously.2
- In recent days, the instances of racism prompted widespread criticism from current and former soccer players, as well as from local and international politicians.3
Sources: 1The Hill, 2Al Jazeera, and 3Independent.
- Narrative A, as provided by Mirror. While racism in soccer is a problem in multiple countries, this episode in Spain highlights a major crisis. Unfortunately, dozens of similar acts have previously taken place without repercussions and this has allowed the behavior to be institutionalized. Serious action needs to be taken in order to make clear that these types of disgusting actions are unacceptable.
- Narrative B, as provided by BBC News. While this is a serious problem in Spain, as well as in a number of other countries, a part of the problem is that the Spanish soccer league — La Liga — has little to no power to punish those responsible for racism. The body is now formally requesting more authority on the matter from the Spanish government in order to take action.