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Vinicius Jr.: “I’m a Tormentor of Racists” – Brazilian Footballer Speaks Out on Jailed Abusers

eal Madrid Forward Vinicius Jr: "I'm a Tormentor of Racists" Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr has spoken out after three Valencia fans were sentenced to eight months in prison for racially abusing him during a La Liga match.

The racist chants were directed at Vinicius during a game at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium on 21 May 2023. The fans were found guilty of a “crime against moral integrity” with the “aggravating circumstance of discrimination based on racist motives”.

In response, Vinicius posted on X, “I’m not a victim of racism. I am a tormentor of racists. This first criminal conviction in the history of Spain is not for me. It’s for all black people. May other racists be afraid, ashamed, and hide in the shadows. Otherwise, I’ll be here to collect. Thank you to La Liga and Real Madrid for helping with this historic conviction.”

This marks the first time a conviction for racism at a football match in Spain has been handed out, following a complaint filed by La Liga. The initial 12-month sentence was reduced by a third following an agreement reached at the preliminary investigation stage. The fans were also banned from entering any football stadium where La Liga and/or Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) matches are played for a period of three years, later reduced to two.

Vinicius, along with La Liga, Real Madrid, and RFEF, brought the case to court. The defendants read a letter of apology during the hearing.

La Liga president Javier Tebas commented, “This ruling is great news for the fight against racism in Spain, as it goes some way to redressing the disgraceful wrong suffered by Vinicius Jr and sends a clear message to those individuals who go to a football stadium to hurl abuse.”

Real Madrid stated they “will continue to work to protect the values of our club and eradicate any racist behavior in the world of football and sport”.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino hailed the sentences as a “positive step” and praised the “firm action”. Infantino’s message to those behaving in a racist way in football was clear: “we don’t want you. These people have to be excluded, they are not part of our community and not part of football.”

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