Vinícius Jr.: Effigy of Black soccer star hanged from bridge in Madrid


Vinicius Jr. scored a goal against Atlético Madrid in Real Madrid’s 3-1 Copa del Rey quarter-final on Thursday after the star’s picture was hung from Madrid’s bridge ahead of the match.

Álvaro Morata put Atlético ahead in the first half, but Rodrygo’s equalizer sent them into extra time in the quarter-finals.

Atlético were reduced to 10 men after Stefan Savić was sent off after picking up two yellow cards, with goals from Karim Benzema and Vinícius securing victory for Real.

After scoring his goal, Vinícius avoided shouting and punching before dancing, an act that had already attracted abuse from rival fans.

After the match, the 22-year-old Brazil international posted a picture of himself on social media with the caption “Vini LOVES MADRID! There is only one!”

On Friday morning, Vinícius posted another message saying, “LOVE OVERCOME HATE”.

Spain’s national police have opened an investigation “into a possible hate crime,” the press office of the national police in the Madrid region told CNN on Thursday.

Videos that have been widely viewed on social media show Vinícius wearing a Real Madrid shirt with the number 20 on the back hanging from a bridge near Real Madrid’s training center along with a poster that reads: : “Madrid hates Real.”

Police at the Hortaleza station near the bridge left as soon as they learned of the photo Thursday morning around 8:30 a.m. ET (2:30 a.m. ET), but when they arrived, the sign read. “Madrid hates Real” is not hanging there, the press office said.

    Vinicius' shirt hangs on a bridge near Real Madrid's training facility.

In a A post on TwitterThe Spanish league said it “strongly condemns the acts of hatred and intimidation against Vinícius Jr.”

“La Liga, as in the past, will press for an investigation into this matter by the government’s security forces and relevant agencies, seeking the convictions of those responsible and requesting the harshest sentences.”

Atlético said the image was “disgusting and unacceptable” and “embarrassing”.[es] society.”

“Our condemnation of any attack on the dignity of people or institutions is sincere and unequivocal,” the group said in a statement.

“The rivalry between the two teams is very high, but so is the respect. No individual, regardless of their motives or color, can destroy the harmony between the two supporters. It is everyone’s responsibility to avoid that.

“We do not know who is the author or authors of this despicable act, but their anonymity does not help them avoid responsibility. We hope that the authorities will succeed in clearing up the circumstances and that justice will help to stop this type of behavior. ”

Real Madrid said they want to thank the support and signs of care they received after the deplorable act of racism, hatred and hatred against our player Vini Jr.

“We express our strongest criticism against these acts that attack the fundamental rights and dignity of people and have nothing to do with the values ​​that football and sports represent,” it said in a statement.

“These attacks that my player is suffering now, or that any player can suffer, have no place in our society.

“Real Madrid believes that the responsibilities of everyone who participated in these heinous acts must be borne.”

FIFPRO, the international association of football players, Twitter for her support from Vinícius on Friday: “#FIFPRO abhors the racism directed at @ViniJr and joins @AFEFutbol in demanding legal action against perpetrators of hate crime.

“It is appalling that players are being targeted in this way and it is very important that the authorities fully comply with the law.”

Vinícius has previously faced racist abuse from opposition supporters.

During Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Real Valladolid on December 30 last year, Vinícius said he had experienced racism from the fans, with footage posted on social media showing fans throwing objects at the striker as he left the pitch. changed.

Reuters reported that Vinícius later accused La Liga of inaction on racial abuse, which the Spanish league said “a criminal case for hate crimes has been filed in the Valladolid Magistrates’ Courts, supported by video evidence. collected through research conducted through. images and audio recordings published in open source.”

Vinicius Jr.  dribbles during Real Madrid's Champions League match against RB Leipzig on September 14, 2022, in Madrid.

According to Reuters, La Liga also said it will increase efforts to eradicate any form of violence, racism or hatred inside and outside the stadiums.

In September 2022, a group of Atlético fans subjected the 22-year-old to racist chants during a league derby.

In a video posted on Twitter by Spanish radio station COPE, a substantial group of Atlético fans outside Atleti’s Metropolitano Stadium could be heard chanting: “You’re a monkey, Vinícius, you’re a monkey.”

Spanish prosecutors last December closed an investigation into racist chants at Vinícius’ stadium in Atletico’s Metropolitano because prosecutors said it was impossible to identify who was responsible, prosecutor sources said. said CNN.

It comes just two days after Vinícius condemned what he described as racist criticism he received for celebrating his dance goal.

When he appeared on Spanish TV in September, Pedro Bravo – a leading agent and president of the Spanish Agents Association – compared the celebration of the Brazilian dance after scoring the behavior of a monkey, arguing that the striker was disrespectful. opponents and “must stop the monkey game.”

Bravo was accused by many people of using racist words on social media, and later he apologized on his Twitter account.

During the derby, after Vinícius’ teammate Rodrygo opened the scoring and the two danced, many Atlético fans were seen showing off the two Brazilians.

Vinícius spoke about the racist abuse he experienced at his dance festivals, saying: “They say happiness hurts. The joy of the Black Brazilians winning in Europe hurts a lot.

“But my will to win, my smile and the sparkle in my eyes is much bigger than that. You can’t even imagine. I was a victim of hate speech and racist comments. But none of it started yesterday. Weeks ago they started criminalizing my dancing. A dance that is not mine.

“They belong to Ronaldinho, Neymar, [Lucas] Paquetá, [Antoine] Griezmann, João Félix, Matheus Cunha … belong to Brazilian musicians and samba musicians, reggaeton musicians, and black Americans.

“These are games that celebrate the cultural diversity of the world. Accept it, respect it. We will not stop.”


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