Vinicius Junior Approves of Racially Abusive Fans' Jail Sentence

The decision was welcomed by La Liga in Spain, who described it as "the first sentence handed down for racist insults in a Spanish football stadium".

Vinicius Junior Approves of Racially Abusive Fans' Jail Sentence

Vinicius Junior expressed his satisfaction with the three Valencia supporters who were sentenced to eight months in prison on Monday for their racial abuse of him during a La Liga game the previous year. "It's not for me, this first criminal conviction in Spanish history. The attacker for Real Madrid and Brazil wrote on social media, "It's for all black people." "However, as I've always stated, racism is not a victim of me. Racists are destroyed by me. Allow the other bigots to run for cover and feel humiliated. If not, I'll be in this place to collect the loan," he penned.

"We are grateful to Real Madrid and La Liga for their contributions in achieving this momentous decision. There is yet more to come.

The Valencia court stated that the defendants, who remained anonymous, were found guilty of a crime against moral integrity with the aggravating circumstance of discrimination motivated by race.

In addition, they received a two-year match suspension. None of them will go to jail since courts often suspend prison terms of less than two years for first-time offenders who have no prior criminal history. 

The decision was welcomed by La Liga in Spain, who described it as "the first sentence handed down for racist insults in a Spanish football stadium". 

La Liga president Javier Tebas declared, "This sentence is very good news for the fight against racism in Spain." 

"It sends a clear message to anyone who goes to a football stadium to hurl insults that La Liga will find and prosecute them and that they will face criminal consequences."

FIFA, which oversees international football, announced on Instagram that the decision was "a positive step" by its president, Gianni Infantino.

"Our message to people anywhere in the world who behave in a racist way when they are dealing with football is clear: we don't want you," Infantino stated.

Ednaldo Rodrigues, the head of the Brazilian football association, demanded more severe penalties for these kinds of offenses.

"The decision is a start, a path, and shows the importance of pressure from society for the authorities to really get involved in this fight against racism," Rodrigues stated. 

"It was a punishment that I interpret as still mild, but steps are being taken step by step," he stated.

The incident happened on May 21, 2023, in Valencia's Mestalla stadium. The Real Madrid forward was the target of insults and monkey noises from the home crowd. 

Before the game could continue, stadium officials demanded that racial slurs stop before play could continue. Vinicius stood in front of the audience and pointed at individuals who were causing the disruption. 

The three players "shouted and chanted at the player with... evident contempt for the colour of his skin... making racist gestures of contempt and causing him to feel frustration, shame and humiliation" , according to court records. 

Their actions were described as "simulating the gestures made by primates and repeatedly making... the sound made by monkeys" in front of a "massive" TV, radio, and media audience in addition to a packed stadium. 

According to a Real Madrid statement, the three had acknowledged their transgressions and sent letters of apology to Vinicius, the team, and any others "who felt belittled or offended by their behaviour". The statement also asked supporters to refrain from expressing any kind of "racism and intolerance". 

Brazil lodged a diplomatic protest and turned out the lights on Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue in solidarity following the event, which was the most recent in a series of racist attacks on the athlete. The incident generated a worldwide outcry. 

After Real Madrid lodged a criminal complaint, three young people were taken into custody by the police for "racist overtones and insults" during the Valencia match. They were being investigated for "an alleged hate crime," which is a crime that incorporates racial behavior. 

Since joining Real Madrid in 2018, Vinicius, at 23 years old, has been the target of racist taunts from rival supporters at multiple Spanish stadiums. 

A banner with the words "Madrid hates Real" and a dark-skinned effigy wearing a Vinicius shirt were discovered hanging from a bridge close to the team's training field in January 2023. 

Four Atletico Madrid supporters were charged with a crime related to the event in December, and the prosecution is requesting four-year prison terms. A trial date has not yet been scheduled. 

There has been much discussion about whether Spain is doing enough to eradicate racism in sport in the wake of the Valencia incident.

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