“We are all Vinicius.
Spanish professional soccer club Real Madrid hosted Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain, on Friday (Sept. 25) for the 36th home match of the 2022-2023 Primera Liga season.
It was Real Madrid’s first game since the away match against Valencia, in which Brazilian goalkeeper Vinicius Junior was subjected to racial abuse.
Before kickoff, the Real Madrid players put on a performance that was more special than any goal celebration.
Every player on the roster, starting and substitute, took the field wearing a jersey with Vinicius’ name and number “20” on it. It was a sign of solidarity with Vinicius.
Fans also showed their support by hanging placards in the stands that read “We are one with Vinicius”.
Rayo Vallecano also sided with Real Madrid in the face of racism.
The starters of both teams held up placards that read “Kick racism out of soccer” together.
Fans applauded Vinicius as he sat in the stands alongside Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.
Vinicius posted a photo on Instagram of himself gesturing in response to the support, writing, “I love you. Thank you, thank you, thank you,” he wrote.
Vinicius’ red card from the previous game was overturned, but he did not play due to a minor knee injury.
Real Madrid won 2-1 at Rayo Vallecano after Karim Benzema opened the scoring in the 31st minute and Hodriguez struck in the 44th minute, before Raúl Detomas equalized in the 39th minute.
After scoring the dramatic winner with a sharp right-footed ground ball from the edge of the box, Hodriguez raised his right fist and bowed his head in a “black power salute” gesture.
Like Vinicius, Rodriguez is black and from Brazil.
On April 22, during the second half of the match between Real Madrid and Valencia at Valencia’s home Mestalla Stadium, Valencia fans chanted “monkey” at Vinicius, leading to a clash.
To add insult to injury, Vinicius was sent off in the final minutes of the game for his part in a scuffle with Valencia players.
“This is not the first time, not the second time, not the third time,” Vinicius said on social media after the game. Racism has become normalized in La Liga.”안전놀이터
Spanish police arrested three people for making racist remarks at the stadium that day, and four people in Madrid in January for hanging a doll wearing a shirt with Vinicius’ name on it from a bridge railing in Madrid.
The Spanish soccer federation suspended Valencia for five games and fined the club 45,000 euros (about $64,000) for some of the racist behavior in the stands.
Meanwhile, La Liga president Javier Tebas, who came under fire for tweeting that “La Liga is doing enough to address racism” after the incident, has since reversed course and apologized.
“It was not my intention to attack Vinicius, but if everyone took it that way, it’s my fault for misrepresenting it,” Tebas told ESPN in Brazil. I apologize,” he said.