Photo: NurPhoto / Contributor via Getty Images
  /  05.22.2023

Brazilian soccer player Vinícius Júnior is speaking out about racism in Spain after allegedly facing grotesque chants at a game over the weekend. The 22-year-old Real Madrid star took to Twitter yesterday (May 21) after his team lost their game against Valencia to share his experience.

According to NBC News, spectators during the game were reportedly assaulting Júnior with racist chants including “monkey.” As a result, the game had to be stopped for 10 minutes and Júnior was dismissed from the field after an argument with players from the other team. But according to the athlete, racism in Spain isn’t limited just to soccer fans, noting that La Liga — the Spanish professional soccer league — is rife with prejudice.

Júnior was frank with his words. “It wasn’t the first time, nor the second time, nor the third,” he stated plainly, according to Twitter’s translation. “Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition thinks it’s normal, the [Royal Spanish Football] Federation does too, and the opponents encourage it.”

He went on to assert that the league “today belongs to racists.” He called Spain “a beautiful nation which welcomed me and which I love,” but blasted the country and its residents for their ways of thinking. “I’m sorry for the Spaniards who don’t agree, but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists,” he said.

“Unfortunately, for everything that happens each week, I have no defense… But I am strong and I will go to the end against racists. Even if far from here,” he vowed. Check out his post below.

After sharing his thoughts online, Júnior was met by criticism from Javier Tebas Medrano, the president of La Liga. Tebas Medrano claimed that the association had been doing the work to combat racism and urged Júnior to think before he speaks.

Before criticizing and insulting La Liga, it is necessary that you inform yourself properly,” the man wrote. “Do not let yourself be manipulated, and make sure you fully understand each other’s competencies and the work we have been doing together.”

Júnior fired back with his thoughts and told the president to open his eyes.

“Once again, instead of criticizing racists, the president of La Liga appears on social media to attack me,” he said, as seen below. “As much as you talk and pretend not to read, the image of your league is shaken. See the responses to your posts and have a surprise…”

“Omitting yourself only makes you equal to racists,” he concluded. “I’m not your friend to talk about racism. I want actions and punishments. Hashtags don’t move me.”



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