Spanish police have stepped in and arrested seven people over racist abuse of Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Jr., including hanging an effigy of the Brazilian star.
In case you’re out of the loop, let’s get caught up.
Vinicius Jr. is one of the top young stars in the soccer world. The Brazilian winger, who is black, is immensely talented and equally charismatic.
That has not sat well with opposing fans, who fans repeatedly responded with various racist taunts. As the player has spoken out more and more about the behavior, fans have only become worse.
It came to a head over the weekend when the 22-year-old was racially abused before and after receiving a red card in a 1-0 loss to Valencia.
“It wasn’t the first time, or the second, or the third. Racism is normal in La Liga,” Vinicius posted on Instagram. “The competition thinks it’s normal, the [Spanish Football] Federation does too, and opponents encourage it.
“I’m so sorry. The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi, today belongs to racists. A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love, but which has agreed to export the image of a racist country to the world.
“I’m sorry for the Spaniards who don’t agree, but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists. And unfortunately, with everything that happens each week, I can’t defend it. I agree. But I am strong and I will go to the end against the racists. Even if it’s far from here.”
He then followed it up by showing compiled clips of the racist abuse.
Finally, Spanish police have stepped in. Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez of ESPN report that Spanish authorities arrest seven people for two separate incidents of racist abuse of the star.
“Three of the arrests — in Valencia — were related to racist abuse aimed at Vinicius during Madrid’s LaLiga defeat at Mestalla on Sunday,” the report said. “Four arrests in Madrid involve the hanging of a mannequin wearing a Vinicius shirt from a bridge near Real Madrid’s training ground in January.”
It’s both sad and disgusting that it ever got to this point. But it’s good to see someone is finally stepping in to defend Vinicius.