There has been an outpouring of support for Vinicius Jr in the last 24 hours in response to racist remarks made on Spanish TV towards the Brazilian on Thursday night.
On Friday, Neymar Jr, Eder Militao, Pele and many more voiced their solidarity with Vinicius, while Real Madrid released a firm statement yesterday denouncing racism.
Vinicius Jr also shared a lengthy message on Instagram:
“As long as the color of the skin is more important than the brightness of the eyes, there will be war.” I have that phrase tattooed on my body. I have that thought permanently in my head. That is the attitude and the philosophy that I try to put into practice in my life. They say that happiness bothers. The happiness of a victorious black Brazilian in Europe bothers much more.
But my desire to win, my smile and the sparkle in my eyes are much bigger than that. You can’t even imagine it. I was a victim of xenophobia and racism in a single statement. But none of that started yesterday.
Weeks ago they began to criminalize my dances. Dances that are not mine. They belong to Ronaldinho, Neymar, Paquetá, Griezmann, João Félix, Matheus Cunha... they belong to Brazilian funk and samba artists, reggaeton singers, and black Americans. They are dances to celebrate the cultural diversity of the world. Accept it, respect it. I’m not going to stop.
I come from a country where poverty is very great, where people have no access to education... and in many cases, no food on the table! I don’t usually come publicly to refute criticism. They attack me and I don’t speak. They praise me and I don’t speak either. I work! I work a lot.
On and off the field. I have developed an application to help the education of children in public schools without financial help from anyone. I am making a school with my name. I will do much more for education. I want the next generations to be prepared, like me, to fight against racists and xenophobes.
I always try to be a professional and an exemplary citizen. But that doesn’t click, it’s not trending on the internet, nor does it motivate cowards to talk aggressively about people they don’t even know.
The script always ends with an apology and “I’ve been misunderstood.” But I repeat it for you, racist:
I will not stop dancing. Whether at the Sambadrome, at the Bernabéu or wherever.
With the love and smiles of someone who is very happy,
Vini Jr. #BAILAVINIJR