“Humans Have to Be Better Than This”: NBA All Star and Sports World Stands With Real Madrid Star Vinicius Jr. After Deplorable Act of Fans

Published 05/22/2023, 11:54 AM EDT

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Last night, the sporting world witnessed one of its darker moments. Spanish soccer club Real Madrid went against Valencia CF in La Liga, with the game ending 1-0 in favor of Valencia. The biggest piece of news, however, that came out of the game was the racial abuse faced by Los Blancos winger Vinicius Jr, who was visibly teary during the game.

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Valencia fans present at the Mestalla stadium hurled racial slurs at Vini. Following the disheartening incident, the entire sports community came together to support the 22-year-old Brazilian maestro. Several notable names from the NBA world also expressed their feelings while extending their support to the youngster.

Rex Chapman, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander among many others extend support for Vinicius Jr.

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The incident occurred during the second half of the game when Real Madrid was already down one goal. Vini Jr. was subjected to the deplorable actions of Valencia fans as they screamed “monkey”, disrespecting him and the game. During the 73rd minute of the game, the Brazilian star stopped at the end of the field and confronted a fan for hurling slurs at him. This was followed by the fans throwing objects on the ground and the play was halted for a while.  As per the racism protocol, an announcement was made, warning fans to immediately stop hurling abuses and throwing objects on the ground.

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Vini was even fouled during the game, and surprisingly ended up receiving a red card and was ejected in the final minutes. After the game, the 2022 Champions League winner went on social media to express his feelings. He wrote, “It was not the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition thinks it’s normal, the Federation does too and the opponents encourage it. I’m so sorry. The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano, and Messi. Today, it belongs to racists.”

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His reaction to the incident was followed by support from fans and other athletes from a variety of fields.

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Several notable athletes across sports condemned the racist act by Valencia fans including Rio Ferdinand, Ronaldo Nazario, Rex Chapman, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. NBA veteran Chapman tweeted, “We humans have to be better than this, no??.” He added that this is not just Vinicius’s problem but it should rather concern everyone. Gilgeous-Alexander posted a story on his Instagram with the caption “There is no place in this world for racism- I stand with my brother.”

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If the authorities take strict action and set a precedent, we might be able to avoid it in the future.

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Written by:

Prateek Singh

918Articles

One take at a time

Prateek Singh is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports, known for his insightful coverage of the league. With a deep passion for basketball fueled by the late Kobe Bryant's championship runs, Prateek has built his writing career on astute analysis and a firm understanding of the game. His transparent reporting and dedication to providing quality content have earned him credibility and respect among readers and industry professionals alike.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra

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