Racism is never acceptable, especially in the world of sports. It has been a month since Black Brazilian forward Vinícius Jr was subjected to yet another episode of racist abuse during a match in Spain. On May 21st, he was playing for Real Madrid against Valencia when fans heckled him and called him a “monkey”.
The incident has sparked outrage in Brazil and around the world. It is widely recognized that racism is a serious problem in sports, and this latest incident serves as a stark reminder of that fact. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has called on football bodies to take measures and “not allow racism and fascism” to take over.
Similarly, the UN Human Rights Commissioner Fédéral Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein expressed his “abhorrence and shock” at the incident. He urged Spanish authorities to investigate the episode “and take all necessary steps to ensure that such abuses are not repeated in the future.”
In response, Real Madrid has issued an apology to Vinícius Jr and stated its commitment to fighting racism and intolerance in sports. The Spanish Football Federation is also conducting an investigation into the matter.
However, this is far from being enough. Racism must be addressed holistically on a global level if we want to eradicate it from our society once and for all. We need more education programs in schools, greater public awareness campaigns, and tougher laws that punish those who commit racist acts.
It is also important to remember that racism goes beyond name-calling or heckling. It can come in the form of structural biases and microaggressions as well. We must be conscious of our own prejudices and how they manifest in our everyday behavior if we want to create a truly equitable world for all.