‘We always talk but NOTHING changes’: Real Madrid star Rodrygo says players feel helpless over racist abuse in LaLiga and ‘have no more strength’ after team-mate Vinicius Jr was targeted by chants for a sixth time
- Vinicius Jr was targeted by fans for a sixth time in their defeat by Real Mallorca
- The Real Madrid star has urged Spanish authorities to take action over racism
- Rodrygo admits players are unsure on how they can force changes to be made
Real Madrid star Rodrygo has criticised the lack of action taken over racist abuse with his team-mate Vinicius Jr having regularly been targeted throughout the season.
Vinicius Jr was targeted by a fan during Real Madrid’s 1-0 defeat by Real Mallorca earlier this month.
TV cameras picked up chants calling Vinicius a ‘monkey’, with the incident prompting LaLiga to make their sixth official complaint regarding abuse aimed at the 22-year-old.
LaLiga feels its jurisdiction is limited to reporting incidents and sending audiovisual evidence from games to Spain’s Anti-Violence Commission and the public prosecutor who then pursue the matter through local courts.
To date none of the previous five legal complaints have resulted in punishment.
Rodrygo, left, has criticised the lack of action on racist abuse aimed at team-mate Vinicius Jr
LaLiga has filed six complaints over racist abuse aimed at Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr
Vinicius Jr has expressed frustration at a lack of action being taken, despite vocal condemnation at the time.
Rodrygo has echoed his team-mates view, with the 22-year-old Brazilian admitting he does not know what to do to ensure action is taken.
‘On this subject, it does bother us a bit, not only Vinicius, but everyone inside [the dressing room,’ Rodrygo told MundoDeportivo.
‘But we feel that we can do no more, we have no more strength.
‘We always talk and nothing changes. I particularly don’t know what else to do with this issue.
‘Now, I try not to talk, and seeing that others talk and nothing changes, I’m not going to talk.’
Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr had danced following the former’s goal against Atletico Madrid earlier this season, with the act coming in response to comments made by a Spanish agent during a television debate.
Discussing players who celebrate goals by dancing, the agent said Vinicius should go back to Brazil if he wanted to do a samba and that he should show respect and not ‘behave like a monkey’.
Real Madrid subsequently issued a statement condemning racism and xenophobia against their player.
The Brazilian stars danced in front of Atletico Madrid fans after Vinicius had been targeted
Atletico Madrid fans had been heard singing racist songs directed at the forward during the Madrid derby.
A three-month investigation by Spanish prosecutors eventually ceased as they said it was impossible to properly identify the guilty parties.
In December, Vinicius urged the league to do more to stop racist supporters going to matches after he was abused in a 2-0 win at Real Valladolid.
And in January a sickening effigy of Vinicius was hung from a bridge close to Real Madrid’s training ground. Spanish police are investigating a possible hate crime.
The inflatable doll, donning a Vinicius Jr shirt, appeared under one of the bridges in the Spanish capital and was accompanied with a banner that reads: ‘Madrid hates Real Madrid’.
LaLiga released a statement saying they ‘strongly condemn acts of hatred and intimidation against Vinicius Jr’. They also promised to ‘investigate’ the matter and ‘convict’ those who are responsible.
Atletico fans have hung a Vinicius effigy from one of bridges within the city (above)
LaLiga, led by president Javier Tebas (pictured), have filed legal complaints over the racist abuse
Atletico released their own statement, which read: ‘Acts like this are absolutely disgusting and inadmissible and embarrass society. Our condemnation of any act that attacks the dignity of people or institutions is resounding and unmitigated.
Vinicius is not the only player to have been racially abused in recent seasons.
Inaki Williams suffered in a match at Espanyol’s stadium in January 2020 and the case is still being processed.
The president of Spain’s National Sports Council, Jose Manuel Franco has said: ‘Where the law will not reach, sport itself has to take action to bring about justice.’