Real Madrid have issued an official statement condemning the comments made on their Brazilian star Vinicius Junior recently. The footballing world has united in support of Vinicius.
The controversy sparked off after a renowned agent Pedro Bravo who was appearing as a panelist for a show, commented on Vinicius’ dance celebration. He felt that dancing after scoring a goal is disrespectful for the opponents, and even went on to compare Vinicius’ behaviour to that of a monkey, which invited backlash on social media.
Vinicius himself conveyed his message through social media. He said that he won’t be changing his celebration anytime soon. This isn’t even the first time that he has had to face racist remarks regarding his celebrations.
“They say that happiness bothers,” Vinicius said in a video posted to social media. “The happiness of a victorious black Brazilian in Europe bothers much more. “But my desire to win, my smile and the sparkle in my eyes are much bigger than that. You can’t even imagine it. I was a victim of a xenophobic and racist comment. But none of that started yesterday.” Weeks ago they began to criminalize my dances. Dances that are not mine.
“They belong to Ronaldinho, Neymar, [Lucas] Paqueta, [Antoine] Griezmann, Joao Felix, Matheus Cunha… they belong to Brazilian funk and samba artists, reggaeton singers, and black Americans. Those are dances to celebrate the cultural diversity of the world. Accept it, respect it. I’m not going to stop.”
Brazilian teammates Neymar, Lucas Paqueta, Thiago Silva, Gabriel Jesus etc came in support of their fellow teammate Vinicius. Neymar took to social media, posting a tweet and advising Vinicius to never stop doing what he loves. “Dribble, dance and be you. Happy just the way you are. Keep it up my boy, next goal we dance.”
Real Madrid and Brazilian football federation issued official statements condemning the racist remarks and threatening about legal action against someone who continues to do the same.
Bravo later took to twitter to clarify his remarks on Vinicius. “I want to clarify that the expression ‘playing the monkey’ that I have misused to qualify Vinicius’ goal celebration dance was done metaphorically,” he said. “Since my intention was not to offend anyone, I sincerely apologize. I am sorry!”
Atletico Madrid’s midfielder Koke said Vinicius can expect some “trouble” if he scores against Atleti on Sunday and performs the dance celebration. But the Spanish midfielder also said that Vinicius is free to celebrate his goals in any way, it shouldn’t bother anyone. “If in the end he scores and decides to dance, well, it’s what he wants to do,” Koke said. “Would I understand it or not? Everyone has their own way of being and of celebrating goals as they please.”
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are all set to lock horns for the Madrid derby this Sunday at the Wanda Metropolitano.