The Brazilian government said on Monday that it had lodged an official protest with the Spanish embassy and will file an official complaint with the authorities in Madrid on the most recent racial abuse that has been directed at the Brazilian star Vinicius Junior.
Since the Real Madrid star Vinicius was the recipient of racial insults on Sunday during the team’s 1-0 loss against Valencia, there has been an outpouring of criticism in his home country of Brazil. Vinicius is a top player for Real Madrid.
The Brazilian government said that the Minister of Racial Equality, Anielle Franco, will file a formal protest with the relevant authorities in Spain and with La Liga.
In the meantime, a source from the foreign ministry disclosed to AFP that the government had lodged a complaint with Spain’s ambassador in Brazil.
“The Spanish ambassador is away from Brasilia, but we have already been in contact with her by telephone to express the Brazilian government’s displeasure over the repeated racist attacks against (Vinicius) and the need for an adequate response,” the source said. “We have already expressed the Brazilian government’s displeasure over the repeated racist attacks against (Vinicius) and the need for an adequate response.”
On Monday evening, as a gesture of solidarity, the light atop the monument of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro was turned off for one hour.
According to the archdiocese that is in charge of the monument, the gesture was meant to be “a symbol of the joint fight against racism and in solidarity with the player and with all those who suffer from prejudice in the world.”
Vinicius tweeted about the darkened statue, describing it as “black and imposing,” and thanked his fans for their support. He said he was “moved” by the statue’s transformation.
He continued by saying, “But above all else, I want to inspire others and shed more light on our struggle.”
Vinicius, who has been the object of racist slurs on several occasions in Spain, was subjected to them once more from the stands during the match that took place on Sunday in Valencia. The action was paused for several minutes as a result.
The referee mentioned in his post-game report that the player had been the target of chants of “monkey” from the crowd.
The abuse was denounced by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, which resulted in an outpouring of support for Vinicius from a variety of Brazilian athletes, including current stars Neymar and Richarlison as well as former great Ronaldo, who is now retired.
According to a statement released by the Brazilian government, the country “deeply regrets” the fact that “no effective measures have yet been taken to prevent the recurrence of these racist acts.”
It encouraged the Spanish authorities to “punish the perpetrators and stop further cases,” and it urged FIFA, the Spanish Football Federation, and La Liga to take “the necessary measures.”
The event is now the subject of an inquiry by the Spanish public prosecutor’s office.