Dozens of protesters gathered on Tuesday at the gates of the Spanish consulate in Sao Paulo to denounce the racism suffered in the Vinicius League
The Real Madrid star is a frequent target of insults and ridicule for being black in the stadiums of rival teams in Spain. The problem, denounced in Brazil, goes beyond soccer.
“The Spanish state has very strong traces of the neo-fascist extreme right that is against immigration policy. So what La Liga reflects is what the black population lives in that country, which is why Vini (Vinicius Jr) is very brave in denouncing racial violence“laments Simone Nascimento, Member of the United Black Movement.
The Spanish authorities want to show that what Vinicius suffered in the match against Valencia last Sunday will not go unpunished. Three people have been arrested for uttering racist insults and another four for hanging a doll with his shirt from a bridge in January. Vinicus denounced racism in La Liga, but its borders go beyond football.
“Obviously, I’ve never been in a football stadium where thousands of people are shouting ‘monkey!’ but on a day-to-day basis with things that maybe weren’t as aggressive as this, I’ve felt like shit. So I know what he was going through,” explains Cuban journalist and writer Abraham Jiménez Enoa.
“If the referees allow it, they are also racist, if the players allow it, they are also racist,” read a banner from the protesters next to the Spanish consulate.
Real Madrid has closed ranks to protect its player. Valencia has been sanctioned with the partial closure of its stadium for five games. And Vinicius has become a symbol of the fight against racism, an evil in which we all have a share of responsibility.