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Vinicius Jr: Three people sentenced to eight months in prison for racially abusing Real Madrid forward


Vinicius Jr: Three people sentenced to eight months in prison for racially abusing Real Madrid forward

Three people have been sentenced to eight months in prison after being found guilty of racially abusing Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior in May 2023. 

The Athletic previously reported that Spanish police had arrested three young people in connection with the alleged racist behaviour towards Vinicius Jr during Real Madrid’s La Liga fixture against Valencia.

It is the first conviction for racist insults in a football stadium in Spain. The individuals have also been banned from entering football stadiums hosting La Liga and RFEF matches for three years initially, reduced to two years for the same procedural reason, and have been ordered to cover the costs of the legal proceedings.

Vinicius Jr responded to the judgement to say that the verdict “was not for me” but “for all black people”, before thanking La Liga and Real Madrid for a “historic conviction”.

“Many people asked me to ignore it, many others said that my fight was in vain and that I should just ‘play football’,” the forward posted on social media.

“But, as I’ve always said, I’m not a victim of racism. I am a tormentor of racists. This first criminal conviction in the history of Spain is not for me. It is for all black people.

“May other racists be afraid, ashamed and hide in the shadows. Thank you to La Liga and Real Madrid for helping with this historic conviction. More will come…”

La Liga president Javier Tebas has said: “This ruling is great news for the fight against racism in Spain, as it repairs the damage suffered by Vinicius Jr.

“It sends a clear message to those people who go to a football stadium to insult that La Liga will detect them, denounce them and there will be criminal consequences for them.

“I understand that there may be some frustration because of the time it takes for these sentences to be handed down, but this shows that Spain is a country with judicial guarantees. 

“In this sense, from La Liga, we can only respect the time of justice and demand once again that Spanish legislation evolves so that La Liga has sanctioning powers that can speed up the fight against racism.”

Madrid, meanwhile, added in a statement that they would “continue working to protect the values ​​of our club and eradicate any racist behaviour in the world of football and sport”.

Vinicius Jr, 23, has often been on the receiving end of racist abuse from opposition fans both in stadiums and on social media.

In March 2024, the Brazil international said that racist abuse directed at him is getting worse because perpetrators are going unpunished, as he broke down in tears at an emotional press conference. 

Speaking before a friendly between Spain and Brazil at the Santiago Bernabeu, organised “to reinforce the commitment against violence and racism in football”, he said: “Things have got worse since the first time I denounced what happened to me.

“Because people are not punished, they feel like they can keep saying things about the colour of my skin to try to affect how I play. But they could try to do that in other ways, and I wouldn’t have a problem with that. 

“I just want to play, and I want to be able to go to stadiums without anyone bothering me because of the colour of my skin.”

(Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

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