Throughout his career soccer star Vinicius Junior has faced extreme levels of racism during his time with Real Madrid in LaLiga in Spain. Most recently, he was brought to tears in a press conference following the continued racist attitudes and comments toward the Brazilian national team player. He said that he has “less will to play” as the racism against him continues.

“I have less and less will to play. With each complaint made I feel worse, but I have to appear here and show my face,” Vinicius said. “I’m sorry. I just want to play football. I just want to play. I just want to do whatever I can for my club and for my family.”

Despite the racist slurs and chants that come from opposing fans across Spain’s top league, the star maintains that he is committed to Real Madrid and playing in LaLiga. Since he joined the team in 2018, Vinicius has been at the center of racism throughout Spanish soccer, while at the same time being one of the most important players for his team. Arrests have been made by Spanish police following some of the incidents, but the racist hate towards the Brazilian has continued his entire career.

“I am sure that Spain is not a racist country, but there are many racists and many of them are in the stadiums. We have to change because many of them don’t know what racism is. At 23 years old, I have to teach many Spaniards what racism is,” Vinicius said during the press conference. “Playing football is important, but the fight against racism is very important. Let people of color have a normal life. If this were the case, I would go to my club’s games focused only on playing. The only thing I want is to continue playing and for everyone to have a normal life.”

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Last year, the star was a key piece in helping anti-racism legislation pass in Brazil in order to minimize racist comments and attacks during sporting events. Most recently, to curb the racism throughout the sport, Brazil and Spain played an international friendly in Real Madrid’s stadium as a sign of solidarity with Vinicius and other black players in soccer.

“I have never thought about leaving LaLiga because otherwise I would give the racists what they want,” he said. “I am going to continue in the best club in the world, scoring many goals so that they continue to see me. Racists are a minority. As I am a daring player, who plays for Madrid and we win many titles, it is very complicated. I’m going to continue because the president supports me, the club supports me and I’m going to continue to win many things.”

The Spanish government does have a committee to examine the racist and other hateful messages that persist throughout the country’s soccer stadiums, but little has changed since then. Despite efforts from governing bodies as well as other LaLiga team’s, racist attitudes continue to carry on through many fans and media.

“I left Brazil very young and haven’t been able to learn many things. I’m studying. I’m 23 and I’m still studying,” he said. “Why can’t they, the reporters here, who are older than me, study and see what’s really going on? I’m getting sadder and sadder, I feel less and less like playing. But I’m going to keep fighting.”

Vinicius is contracted with Real Madrid until 2027, but he remains persistent that he would like to continue playing in Spain. Despite the racist slurs and chants heard in nearly every stadium he arrives in, Vinicius continues to be one of the top stars in both LaLiga and the Brazilian national team.

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