The racist insults against Vinicius Jr have become a matter of State in Brazil. The attacks in the Mestalla stadium have caused a wave of indignation, especially since it rains it pours. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva began his appearance at the G7 summit in Japan by talking about the player: “I think it is important that Fifa, the Spanish League and the leagues of other countries take serious measures, because we cannot allow fascism to and racism dominate within soccer stadiums,” he criticized. The Ministry of Racial Equality went one step further and reported that it will formally notify the League, the Spanish Federation and the Spanish Government.
The minister of the branch, Anielle Franco, reported that shortly after the game she spoke by phone with Vice President Yolanda Díaz, and that she expects a “direct position” from the Spanish Government. At the moment, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry is already mobilized to ask for explanations from the Spanish ambassador in Brazil, raising the seriousness of the attacks to the highest diplomatic level. Foreign Affairs number two, Maria Laura da Rocha, assured that more than the wickedness of the fans who uttered the insults, “what is frightening is the persistence of the crimes committed against the Brazilian athlete.”
In an unusual move, the Foreign, Human Rights, Sports and Racial Equality portfolios published a joint statement regretting what happened and lamenting the passivity of the Spanish authorities: “Taking into account the seriousness of the events and another inadmissible episode in the match carried out this Sunday, the Brazilian Government deeply regrets that up to now no effective measures have been taken to prevent and avoid the repetition of these acts of racism”.
Several ministers, authorities and representatives of civil society have spoken in recent hours. In general, the reactions go beyond condemning the racist insults uttered by Valencia fans and focus on the inaction of the top sports officials and the Spanish Government itself, since it is a pattern that has been repeated without there being a response to it. the height, as the Minister of Human Rights, Silvio Almeida, complained: “The position of the Spanish authorities and the entities that manage football is criminal. It reveals an undeniable collusion with racism. I leave my hug to Vinicius and the certainty that I will be by his side in the fight so that those who attack him, but also those who are omitted, are held accountable ”, he said.
Particular indignation has caused the reaction of the president of the League, Javier Tebas, who reproachfully accused Vinicius of disengaging when the organization wanted to give him explanations. “Fuck you son of a p… do you want to blame the victim, idiot?” Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes wrote on Twitter. “The record of La Liga is not good, it is quite racist. Just yesterday the president himself wanted to blame Vini for having experienced that racism. We are here to face this together, with great seriousness and determination”, warned the Minister of Racial Equality. The covers of some Spanish sports newspapers also circulate on social networks, downplaying the attacks or even accusing the striker of overreacting. Racist attacks dominate the news and crowds in the street like never before, despite the fact that it is not the first time that Vinicius Jr has suffered racist insults in Spain. The doll with the player’s shirt that Atlético de Madrid fans hung from a bridge, for example, has already made headlines and also caused consternation. Nor is it new that Brazil takes note with concern, although this time the indignation borders on diplomatic conflict. The damage to the image of Spain in Brazil is notable, as exemplified by the reaction of the musician and composer Gilberto Gil, who highlighted the frequent manifestations of racism that Vinicius Jr has been suffering throughout the country, not only in Valencia: “There is a worrying trend that I would like history to contradict. I would like the Spanish people to show welcome and respect to all races, to all the players who come from all over the world”, said the artist.
The repeated attacks reached the table of the Ministry of Racial Equality long ago. The Brazilian Minister for Racial Equality traveled to Madrid at the beginning of May, where she signed with Minister Irene Montero a bilateral commitment to combat racism, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination. One of the central points of the agreement is precisely that the countries “devote special attention to the fight against racism in sports activities.” The Brazilian minister remarked that she will work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to evaluate the next steps that must be taken.
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