Real Madrid released an official statement to defend Vinicius J


The biggest issue with how fans perceive Vinícius and his actions is that they put Viní in Ronaldo and Benzema’s shoes, rather than putting themselves in Vinícius’ shoes.

While both Ronaldo and Benzema had to contend with their fair share of disgusting abuse at the hands of opposition fans, the degree with which they got abused cannot be compared to what has been going on with Vinícius. Just over the course of the last 3 seasons, the 3 seasons in which he really took the leap from budding talent to superstar I might add, Vinícius has had an incredible tirade of racial abuse hurled towards him from the worst fans football has to offer. There have been multiple instances so bad that even the Spanish footballing governmental bodies have had to step-in to punish the supporters that their teams did not. In games against Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Mallorca, Vinícius has been subject to some of the most vile and disgusting racial abuse possible. Vinícius has had extremely racist effigies made of him and hung, has received death threats, gotten various items, including bananas, thrown at him, and the worst part of it all is that he himself has been blamed as being the reason behind such attacks. Opposition fans constantly make the senseless argument that Vinícius’ actions rile up the fans and get certain responses from them. Even if you ignore the pathetic attempt to justify their racism, and assume that these are the worst people in the world whose first response to a footballer arguing on the pitch is to become racist, this argument still holds no weight. Against the likes of Atletico, Mallorca and Barcelona, the racial abuses began before the game had even started, even before Real Madrid’s team bus had entered the stadium. So, the question is, when exactly is this “riling up” going on? Is Vinícius really this arrogant whiner who manages to turn seemingly normal football fans into hardcore racists, or are these fans actually the real problem? The answer is quite clear.



Its easy to stay at home, watching on your TV telling Vinícius not to react to such taunts and keep a level head, but reality is much more different. Week-in, week-out, Vinícius has to deal with the worst insults possible from hundreds if not thousands of people. Every footballer is subject to insults, but racial insults cannot be grouped together with the normal insults hurled at footballers. Vinícius getting into an emotional fit because of being abused racially cannot be compared to other players keeping their cool when being subject to non-racial insults. To be constantly discriminated against on the basis of race definitely takes a toll on an individual, especially when the bodies tasked with combating such problems fail to their jobs. Furthermore, you can also argue, with a lot of credence, that Vinícius should not just ignore these taunts. As unfortunate as it is, Vinícius has to fight if these problems are to be dealt with. The legal cases that were opened against the racist fans were only opened after Vinícius publicly called them out, both on the pitch and through his demands online. Every week news comes out about the racial abuses Vinícius faces, and yet people who sit at home, never experiencing the degree of abuse Viní does, feel the need to tell him to shut up and keep his head down and ignore it all. Instead of supporting his fight against racism, fans, both Madrid and opposition fans, try to victim-blame him, an act almost as bad as the racism itself.

Vinícius is not perfect, no player is. He has his weaknesses, and even I will admit that Vinícius sometimes does mentally check-out of games, which affects his performance. However, for the large majority of the time, what fans perceive as petulance is frustration towards his treatment from opposition fans, players and referees. To blame Vinícius for reacting emotionally to racial abuse, to go against him when he fights after being hacked all game with no protection, to simply focus on his actions rather than what is done to him, only makes the situation worse. Vinícius has been subject to an incredibly biased media campaign against him, made far-worse by his own fans believing the biased reporting against him. A mentality change is needed, but not for Vinícius. Those who abuse him, and those who defend these abusers by blaming Vinícius, those are the people who need to change their mentality, not Vinícius.