STORY: A player for Real Madrid, one of the most renowned soccer teams in the world, is calling both Spain’s top soccer league and the country as a whole racist, after racial slurs from spectators stopped a match for 10 minutes.
And it’s only the latest in a series of similar incidents involving the player, Vinicius Jr., who was later ejected from the game during an altercation with opposing players.
The most recent case happened on Sunday (May 21) during a match between Real Madrid and Valencia.
Vinicius Jr wrote on Twitter that racism has become “normal” in the league, called LaLiga, a championship which once belonged to greats like Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi.
He also says that he loves Spain, but that in Brazil, where he was born, it’s regarded as a racist country.
Carlo Ancelotti is Real Madrid’s coach:
“When they showed him the red card the whole stadium was shouting ‘monkey, monkey, monkey.’ There’s not much else to say. We’re very — I’m very upset. I’ve never experienced anything like it.”
In addition to similar incidents with spectators in the past, Spanish police are also investigating a possible hate crime after a mannequin wearing his number 20 jersey was hung from a bridge outside Real Madrid’s training area in January.
LaLiga says it’s investigating Sunday’s incident, but the league’s president rejected Vinicius’ accusations.
On Twitter, the league’s president cautioned Vinicius against being “manipulated” and said that the player should be more informed of LaLiga’s policies on how to handle racism.
He also said the league had tried to explain those policies to the players in two meetings, but he had failed to show up.