Ronaldo slams "disgusting" racists as he backs Vinicius in row with La Liga

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Vinicius Junior has spoken up about the problem of racism in La Liga (Image: Ion Alcoba/Getty Images)
Vinicius Junior has spoken up about the problem of racism in La Liga (Image: Ion Alcoba/Getty Images)

Real Valladolid president Ronaldo Nazario has vowed to support Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior after he suffered racist abuse during a La Liga clash between the sides.

Vinicius was subjected to horrific racist abuse from fans in the Valladolid section during his side’s two-goal victory in La Liga on 30 December. Two late goals from Karim Benzema secured a priceless victory for Carlo Ancelotti’s side, but the fallout was dominated by the abuse at Vinicius.

The Brazilian international was substituted off the pitch with two minutes remaining of normal time for Luka Modric, with video footage widely circulated on social media showing Vinicius being subjected to racist chanting and taunts from the home fans, who also threw multiple objects at the player.

Earlier this season, Vinicius faced disgusting racist chants from sections of Atletico Madrid fans as Real Madrid defeated their city rivals. As with the subsequent Valladolid incident, videos had emerged on social media of the abhorrent language used. That came after Vinicius was targeted with a racist slur on live Spanish TV by agent Pedro Bravo.

Bravo said during an El Chiringuito discussion of the Brazil international that "in Spain, you have to respect rivals and stop playing the monkey". Following a backlash alleging that this was a racist stereotype, Bravo subsequently apologised on social media by claiming that he misused a metaphor. It has opened a discussion across Spain and further afield of the language and attitude applied towards footballers with racial undertones.

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Vinicius, 22, then vowed to keep his goal dancing celebrations as they show "the happiness of a black Brazilian in Europe", with his celebrations similar to those of his fellow Brazilian stars over the years – including international teammate Neymar. However, he continues to suffer racist abuse in Spain – with his Brazilian compatriot Ronaldo condemning the racist fans of his own club to support the Madrid star.

Ronaldo slams "disgusting" racists as he backs Vinicius in row with La LigaVinicius Junior was subjected to abuse by Real Valladolid fans (David S. Bustamante/Getty Images)

Have Your Say! What punishments need to be handed out for racist abuse at football games? Tell us what you think here.

Ronaldo wrote on his Twitter account: “Regrettable, disgusting, shameful, inadmissible. Racists and xenophobes do not represent us. @vinijr you have all my support, respect and affection. We at @realvalladolid are available to the authorities to collaborate in the investigation so that those responsible are removed from our club.

The former striker continued: “We are not going to allow racist insults in our organisation because our fans are not like that and these people do not represent us.”

It comes after La Liga president Javier Tebas publicly criticised Vinicius for accusing the Spanish top flight of doing “nothing” to combat racism. While La Liga has noted previous incidents and filed complaints to the prosecutor's office, none of the previous three incidents have resulted in a prosecution.

Ronaldo slams "disgusting" racists as he backs Vinicius in row with La LigaJavier Tebas has rejected Vinicius' criticism of La Liga's inaction over racism (Ben McShane/Getty Images)

On Saturday, Vinicius tweeted: “Racists continue to go to stadiums and watch the biggest club in the world up close and @LaLiga continues to do nothing... I will continue with my head held high and celebrating my victories and those of Madrid. In the end it's MY fault.”

In response, La Liga president Tebas tweeted: “At LaLiga we have been fighting RACISM for years. Vinicius is very unfortunate, unfair and it is not true to publish that ‘LaLiga does nothing against racism’, find out more. We are at your disposal so that ALL TOGETHER, we can go in the same direction.” The LaLiga president has since retweeted his statement twice.

He also shared a statement from the league on the Valladolid incident, which said: "La Liga has detected racist insults from the stands of the Zorrilla stadium, published on social networks. These facts will be reported to the Anti-Violence Commission and the Public Prosecutor's Office for hate crimes, as has been done on other occasions."

Colin Millar

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