Everything was set up for an exhilarating Madrid derby on Sunday night, but before it even got started, the headlines were written in the worst possible way.
Numerous videos emerged from outside the Metropolitano before the match of Atletico Madrid fans singing loudly “Vinicius, you are a monkey.”
🗣️CÁNTICOS RACISTAS CONTRA VINICIUS de cientos de aficionados del @Atleti a las puertas del Metropolitano:
📢”Eres un mono, Vinicius eres un mono”.
⛔️FUERA LOS VIOLENTOS Y RACISTAS DEL FÚTBOL
📹Video @chema_medina #AtletiRealMadrid pic.twitter.com/KoHSNrtd3G
— Tiempo de Juego (@tjcope) September 18, 2022
Those chants and monkey noises were then heard within the stadium towards the Real Madrid star – the only action taken so far appears to be an announcement over the loudspeaker asking fans to respect all players, which itself was whistled.
Real Madrid’s players did at least get to laugh in the face of the abuse, Vinicius and Rodrygo Goes breaking out a dancing celebration after the latter scored the first goal. Vinicius also assisted their second.
Following the match, Vinicius posted a picture of the two on Twitter, telling Rodrygo to “Dance where you want…”
Baile donde quieras… @RodrygoGoes pic.twitter.com/2fu372LEdr
— Vini Jr. (@vinijr) September 18, 2022
Rodrygo was also defiant after the match, posting a similar picture with the caption “BLACK and white dance.”
Baile blanco y NEGRO 🕺🏾🤍✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/KenmuqDg3p
— Rodrygo Goes (@RodrygoGoes) September 18, 2022
Speaking after the match, Rodrygo confirmed to Movistar+, via Mundo Deportivo, that it had been an extra motivating factor.
“Very happy. The derby is always special and being able to score, the victory… It’s a very happy day for me. It was a different match because of everything that happened during the week and we responded on the pitch.”
Early the day after the game, there has still been no official recognition of the disgraceful events at the Metropolitano last night either from Atletico Madrid or La Liga. Such overt racism threatens to tarnish the image of Spain and the Spanish league with the wider world. More importantly, it is incumbent on both parties to ensure that Vinicius and Rodrygo do not suffer racial abuse when they go to work.