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17th Sep 2022

Vinicius Junior posts defiant message in response to agent’s racist slur

Simon Lloyd

Vinicius was the victim of a racist slur on Spanish TV

Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior has hit back at a vile racist comment made by an agent during a Spanish TV show, vowing that he will not change his ways.

Pedro Bravo, president of the Spanish Agents Association, had taken issue with the Brazilian dancing when celebrating his goals and, during an appearance on El Chiringuito TV, said he should ‘stop playing the monkey’.

Bravo later retracted his statement but has drawn heavy criticism from across the football world and beyond. Vinicius, meanwhile, has received support from countrymen Gabriel Jesus and Pele, who urged him to continue dancing.

The 22-year-old has now responded by posting a video to his social media channels. As well as promising to continue celebrating goals as he chooses, he also explains how he has invested his own money in helping prepare the future generations to be ready to fight against racists and xenophobes.

He begins: “‘As long as skin colour is more important than the brightness of the eyes, there will be war.; I have that phrase tattooed on my body.

“I have that thought permanently in my head. That’s the attitude and philosophy that I try to put into practice in my life. They say happiness is annoying. The happiness of a victorious Brazilian black in Europe bothers much more.

“But my desire to win, my smile and the twinkle in my eyes are much bigger than that. You can’t even imagine. I was a victim of xenophobia and racism in one statement.

“But none of that started yesterday. Weeks ago they started criminalising my dancing. Dances that don’t belong to me Ronaldinho, Neymar, Paquetá, Griezmann, João Felix, Matheus Cunha… they are Brazilian funk and sambist artists, reggaeton singers, and American black.

“They are dances to celebrate the cultural diversity of the world. Accept it, respect it. I ain’t stopping. I come from a country where poverty is very high, where people don’t have access to education.. and in many cases, no food on the table! I don’t usually come to publicly rebuttal to criticism.

“I get attacked and I don’t speak up. They praise me and I don’t talk either. I work ! I work a lot. On and off the field. I have developed an app to help children’s education in public schools without financial help from anyone. I’m making a school with my name. I’ll do much more for education. I want the next generations to be prepared, like me, to fight against racists and xenophobes.

“I always try to be a professional and an exemplary citizen. But that doesn’t click, doesn’t trend on the internet, or motivates cowards to aggressively talk about people they don’t even know. The script always ends with an apology and a ‘I was misunderstood.’

“But I repeat it to you racists: I will not stop dancing. Whether at the Sambódromo, at the Bernabéu or wherever. With the love and smiles of the very happy, Vini Jr.”

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