Madrid, Sep 17 (IANS) Real Madrid have condemned racist and xenophobic language and behaviour in football and expressed disappointment at a racist comment on their star forward Vinicius Junior during a TV programme.
Real Madrid were responding after a Spanish agent used a racial slur while criticising the Brazilian forward Junior’s celebrations on live TV.
When discussing the Brazilian during a live broadcast on the controversial Spanish channel El Chiringuito, Bravo said: “You have to respect your opponents. When you score a goal, if you want to dance the Samba, you should go to the sambodromo in Brazil. You have to respect your mates and stop playing the monkey.”
The comments have also evoked a strong reaction in Brazil, Vinicius’ native country, with big names like Pele and Neymar commenting on the issue.
“Real Madrid C. F. condemns all types of racist and xenophobic language and behaviour in football, sport and life in general, such as the regrettable and unfortunate comments made against our player Vinicius Junior in the last few hours,” the club said in an official communication.
“Real Madrid would like to express its affection and support for Vinicius Junior, a player who regards football as an attitude towards life through joy, respect and sportsmanship,” the statement said.
The club has directed its legal services to take legal action against anyone who makes racist remarks toward our players.
Meanwhile, Vinicius Junior too responded to the comments and said he “won’t stop dancing”.
In an emotional statement in response to the racist abuse, the Real Madrid ace released a powerful statement via video that reads: “As long as the colour of the skin is more important than the brightness of the eyes, there will be war.
“I have that phrase tattooed on my body. I have this thought permanently in my head. And I have attitudes in my life that turn this philosophy into reality,” he responded on Twitter.
“They say that happiness bothers. The happiness of a black Brazilian being successful in Europe bothers much more.
“But my will to win, my smile and the sparkle in my eyes are much bigger than that. Don’t even try to imagine how much.
“They are dances to celebrate the cultural diversity of the world. Accept it! Respect it! Or freak out… In any case, I will not stop!”
In Vinicius’s native Brazil, Pele, Neymar and other big names voiced outrage over the alleged racist comments on Real Madrid forward.
“Football is joy. It’s a dance,” living legend Pele wrote on Instagram.
“Although unfortunately, racism still exists, we will not allow that to stop us from continuing to smile. And we will continue to fight racism every day in this way: fighting for our right to be happy and respected.”
Paris Saint-Germain striker Neymar tweeted “BAILA VINI JR” — Portuguese for “dance” — echoing a hashtag, #BailaViniJr, that was the top trending topic on Twitter in Brazil.
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBC) too expressed its solidarity with the player in a statement, condemning the “racist statements.”