Damain Maia and other UFC fighters comes to the defence of footballer Vinícius José Paixão de Oliveira Júnior (Vinicius Jr) following vile racial abuse.
The sporting world was left disgusted after Sunday’s game between Real Madrid and Valencia, where towards the end of the game the home Valencia crowd chanted mono (monkey) towards Madrid winger, Vinicius Jr.
Sadly, this is not the first time that Vinicius Jr has suffered racial abuse during his time in La Liga, with the footballer even having banana’s thrown at him last December during a game with Real Valladolid.
Via social media, Vinicius Jr released a statement following the horrendous incident –
“It was not the first, the second or the third time. Racism is normal in La Liga,” Vinicius Jr began. “The championship thinks it’s normal. The Federation does too and opponents encourage it. I’m really sorry. This championship used to have Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi, but it belongs to the racists now.”
“A beautiful country that has welcomed me. I love it, but this country has accepted to export a racist image of itself to the world. I’m sorry for the Spaniards who don’t agree with this, but Spain is known as a racist country in Brazil these days. Unfortunately, because of everything that happens every week, I can’t defend it. I agree. I’m strong and I’ll fight the racists until the end, though. Even if far away from here.” (H/T Bloody Elbow)
Damian Maia and other UFC fighters come to the defence of Vinicius Jr
Following the incident, several Brazilian fighters came to the support of Vinicius Jr.
“One of the most important things that the sport teach us is that our value comes from our character and hard work. Unfortunately what happens to Vini Jr. shows that not everybody understands it. It’s important to talk about it so the next generations will not perpetuate those kind of behaviors,” said Damain Maia
Both Jose Aldo and Alexandre Pantoja also posted messages of support.
What did you think of the Vinicius Jr situation?