Home Sport Racist abuse makes it almost impossible for Vinicius Jr to keep fighting

Racist abuse makes it almost impossible for Vinicius Jr to keep fighting

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During an emotional media conference ahead of Brazil’s friendly international against Spain last night, the Real Madrid winger said he is frustrated because fans keep getting away with hurling racist abuse at him.

Brazil’s forward Vinicius Junior cries as he gives a press conference on the eve of the international friendly football match between Spain and Brazil at the Ciudad Real Madrid training ground in Valdebebas, outskirts of Madrid, on March 25, 2024. Picture: Pierre-Philippe MARCOU, AFP

Brazilian winger Vinicius Jr broke down in tears, and said he was struggling to stay motivated and enjoy playing football due to the recurring racist abuse he is subjected to in Spain.

During an emotional media conference ahead of Brazil’s friendly international against Spain last night, the Real Madrid winger said he is frustrated because fans keep getting away with hurling racist abuse at him.

Last season, there were 10 such episodes against the 23-year-old reported to prosecutors by La Liga.

“I just want to play football, but it’s hard to move forward … I feel less and less like playing (due to the racist abuse),” Vinicius told a media conference on Monday, at times struggling to speak through tears.

“It never crossed my mind (to leave Spain) because if I leave Spain, I give the racists exactly what they want.

“I will stay because that way, the racists can continue to see my face more and more. I’m a bold player, I play for Real Madrid and we win a lot of titles, and that doesn’t sit well with a lot of people.”

Brazil were set to face Spain at Santiago Bernabeu last night as part of an anti-racism campaign.

Last May, Real Madrid’s La Liga game at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium was halted for 10 minutes after Vinicius was racially abused by sections of the crowd.

Vinicius pointed out fans who were abusing him, before he was involved in an altercation with Valencia players that led to him being sent off.

The incident led to an outpouring of support for the Brazilian, and galvanised a series of local and international campaigns, but Vinicius voiced his frustration as he was subjected to more abuse this season, with La Liga reporting several other cases in the last few months.

“It’s getting sadder and sadder. Everything I’ve been going through with every game, every day, every complaint … and it is getting worse,” Vinicius added.

“The lack of punishments is very frustrating. If we start punishing these people, not that they’ll change their thinking, but they’ll be afraid to speak out, whether it’s in the stadium, where there are cameras … (it will) put fear into those people.

“I want to keep fighting for it, but it’s hard. It doesn’t matter if I win or lose the games … I’m already a winner for being here.”

Reuters

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