Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior appeared before a judge in Valencia on Thursday as part of an investigation into racist attacks directed at him during a league match held in the city on May 21. The Brazilian player expressed feeling “offended” by the insults he received, emphasizing that they were targeted at his skin color. The Valencia club expressed surprise and demanded a public rectification from Vinicius, denying that the entire Valencian public should be stigmatized.
During the hearing, Vinicius, dressed in a white shirt and dark suit, provided his testimony via video-conference from a court in Madrid. Afterward, he left without speaking to the press. The player has been a frequent target of racist attacks throughout his career.
The incident occurred around the 70th minute of the match when Vinicius pointed out a fan who had allegedly called him a “monkey.” The players reported the incident to the referee, leading to a temporary interruption of the game and the activation of the racism protocol.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed hearing the racist slur, prompting the referee’s intervention. Following the match, Vinicius took to Instagram, expressing that racism had become the norm in La Liga and vowing to fight against it relentlessly.
In response to Vinicius’s statements, the Valencia club expressed “surprise” and “indignation,” urging the player to rectify his remarks publicly, as they believe he unfairly targeted the entire Mestalla stadium.
A day after the match, a court in Valencia initiated an investigation into a “hate crime” based on complaints filed by the Liga public prosecutor’s office. Three young men were subsequently arrested, with one of them directly named by the player and the other two identified through CCTV footage. While the suspects admitted to the offenses, they denied any hateful or racist intent towards Vinicius.
The investigation continues, and Vinicius’s testimony will play a crucial role in shedding light on the incident and determining the appropriate legal actions to be taken. The case serves as a stark reminder that racism has no place in football or society, emphasizing the need for continued efforts to combat discrimination in all its forms.