Pedro Bravo, the president of the Spanish Football Agents’ Association, told Vinicius to quit “acting like a monkey” after scoring on Thursday’s Chiringuito Show, one of Spain’s premier football TV shows.
Sao Paulo: Pele, Neymar, and other prominent figures in Brazilian football expressed their fury on Friday in response to a Spanish agent’s allegedly racist remarks about Vinicius Junior, a star for both Brazil and Real Madrid, whom he advised to stop “acting like a monkey.”
The Chiringuito Show, one of Spain’s biggest football TV programmes, featured a comment from Pedro Bravo, the head of the Spanish Football Agents’ Association (AEAF), ordering the 22-year-old star to quit celebrating goals with his signature dancing routines.
The comments caused a stir in Brazil, where fans impersonating monkeys have heckled black players with racial insults.
Even though racism unfortunately still exists, we won’t let that stop us from smiling. And we’ll keep battling racism every day in this manner for our right to happiness and respect.
Neymar, a striker for Paris Saint-Germain, tweeted “BAILA VINI JR,” which is Portuguese for “dancing,” mirroring the top trending subject on Twitter in Brazil, #BailaViniJr.
Vinicis Jr. sent a statement of his own in response to the outpouring of love from supporters and other footballers.
I was the victim of both racism and xenophobia in one comment, he claimed. “These dances honour the world’s rich cultural diversity. He declared in a taped message, “I’m not going to stop, whether you embrace it, appreciate it, or go crazy over it.
In the meantime, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBC) issued a statement denouncing the “racist statements” and expressing support for the player.
Real Madrid declared it would “take legal action” in response to “all forms of racist and xenophobic speech.”
On Twitter, Bravo expressed regret for having “badly used the word… in a figurative sense to signify “fooling around”.”