Spain

Atletico Madrid CEO claims club are also victims of racism

Atletico Madrid have been a talking point for all the wrong reasons following the Madrid derby on Sunday, following a vociferous group of fans chanting racists songs against Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior.

On Tuesday Los Rojiblancos released a statement on the matter, condemning the acts of ‘the minority’ and explaining that any members caught would be expelled from the club. They also shifted some of the blame to the media for whipping up a storm around Vinicius.

Speaking to Mundo Deportivo on Wednesday, CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin made a statement on the matter. He also took the chance to emphasize it was a minority of fans.

“I know our fans well and it is unacceptable that someone might think they are racist. Those shouts from a minority embarrass us Atleticos and they cannot stain the image of the club, nor the behaviour and sentiment of the immense majority.”

In the intervening time between Atletico Madrid releasing their statement and the incident itself, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had asked the club to take strong action. This was Gil Marin’s response.

“I appreciate that he reminds us of our obligation, and I am 100% in agreement with his comments. I should also manifest that pursuing these scourges is the task of everyone, not just the club administrators. They accuse us when in reality we are also victims.”

Gil Marin continued along the same lines as the Atletico club statement thereafter, claiming that the media needed to be far more careful with their words and actions.

While the issue is far more nuanced and a wider societal issue than just applying to Atletico Madrid, it seems remarkable that Gil Marin would name the club as a victim but not Vinicius himself. Certainly it is a long way removed from the action that Sanchez was seeking.