Fans Have Been Sent To Prison After Racial Abuse Incident Against Real Madrid's Vinícius Júnior

Real Madrid forward Vinícius Júnior was the victim of racial abuse during a May 2023 match that resulted in a 1-0 defeat over Valencia. The game was actually suspended for a period of 10 minutes at one point, when Vinícius singled out someone in the crowd, who had been saying racial derogatory things to the Brazilian soccer star.

As a result of Real Madrid filing a hate-crime complaint on behalf of Vinícius, LaLiga called on the authorities to take action, and three fans were later arrested.

Vinícius appeared in court to testify against the perpetrators, and as it turns out all three were found guilty of racially motivated discrimination. Consequently, they have been sentenced to 12 months (which has been reduced to eight months) and have been given a three-year stadium ban (shortened to two years).

Vinícius issued out a statement on X in Portuguese, when translated it read:

"Many asked me to ignore it, many others said that my fight was in vain and that I should just "play football." But, as I've always said, I'm not a victim of racism. I am an executioner 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. More to come."

Real Madrid also put out a statement regarding the court ruling that stemmed from their player Vinícius being targeted racially.

"The three accused have accepted their criminal responsibility and have made public a letter of apology addressed to Vinícius Júnior, Real Madrid C.F. and other people who felt denigrated and offended by their behavior... This is the first conviction for acts of this nature handed down by criminal courts and tribunals. Real Madrid, which participated in this prosecution together with Vinícius Júnior, will continue working to protect the values of our club and eradicate any racist behavior in the world of football and sport."