Real Madrid was playing to secure its second-place finish against Valencia, which was fighting to avoid relegation. The Merengue’s defeat would not sit well with their unappealing statistics.
A defeat would be the third time in club history that they have lost four straight games on the road; the other two times were under Del Bosqué in February 2002 and Lopetegui in October 2018.
Vinicius Junior’s predicament is of more significant concern to us in this post.
Vinicius Junior: A Target of Racism in La Liga
The Brazilian brought a spark of energy towards the end of the game at Mestalla. The match was halted in the 62nd minute due to racially charged incidents aimed at the Real Madrid star.
The protocol demanded a halt, but the players decided to carry on. Regrettably, everyone could see it coming. Any player can see red, but the referees made the call without considering previous actions and the match’s atmosphere.
It’s disheartening to see a player grabbing another by the collar, like someone in a fight. On top of that, another player put him in a chokehold. Let’s be clear, a violent reaction should not result in a red card.
We can agree that Vinicius is a competitor. He enjoys the limelight. He likes to provoke, with or without the ball. That’s just how he is. We have yet to fully determine the reality of the Brazilian player’s upbringing and the struggles he’s had to overcome.
We don’t know what he and his family have gone through to get to where he is today, so we cannot judge him. However, such behavior often reveals much about the person who adopts it.
Did you know that people who have not yet reached emotional maturity and have had violent experiences in specific environments often come from highly traumatic backgrounds?
Did you know that often, it’s a weapon they first use to protect themselves against everything that might come their way?
However, let’s understand that such behavior is unacceptable in a strictly professional environment.
To be more precise with you, we agree, as Plato once said, “No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth.”
Vinicius tends to tell other players they won’t beat Real while they’re breaking their backs trying to stop him.
Indeed, it’s true that some players cannot genuinely play effectively. When he scores a great goal, he takes the opportunity to remind people that Real has had many successes, which irritates others because it is a royal club. Isn’t that true?
When he says something unpleasant to a player after dribbling past him, often, the player can’t stop him from playing.
Indeed, it’s accurate to say that Vinicius often endures significant contact when he makes his dribbling runs. The referees frequently disregard these incidents, and only rarely do they issue a yellow card when finally deciding to use their whistles.
We all concur that a provocative player doesn’t necessarily deserve a yellow card.
The Role of Referees in the Face of Provocation
Now let me ask you a question. Vinicius, does he ever get on your nerves?
Sometimes, He irritates me too, but should he also annoy the referees?
Considering the role of a referee on the field, they need to remain neutral. Should Vinicius or anyone else have to pander to a referee?
Is there a code of conduct that dictates how you should behave so the referee can do their job correctly? The referees should just do their jobs.
Since time immemorial, words and language have been tools to help players during a match. In 2006, Materazi got Zidane sent off in a World Cup final with these weapons.
Because he knew Zidane was single-handedly close to beating Italy. Zidane was at his peak in this game. As long as Vinicius doesn’t cross a line while trash-talking, it might bother everyone except the justice system on the field.
Do you want to see why this is escalating?
The Persona of Vinicius: Provocation and Skill
It is because Real has never had a player with this temperament before. Whether you like it or not, it’s a temperament for complex people, someone who comes from afar.
Real is a noble club, and Vinicius is annoying his teammates. He also annoys his management. Because if you are attacked on the top of the mountain and descend to fight, when you turn left if you have someone with you who does not join the fight, there’s a problem.
Entering a fight is not just to separate people. We often see Ramos stepping in to defend his players, which Vinicius didn’t have support for.
I say this not because he deserves unconditional support on the pitch but because he deserves his ears pulled in the locker room and then fought for on the field.
If Vinicius weren’t Vinicius, he would be among the contenders for the Ballon d’Or if he had more support within his team.
He is not a commercial brand; he must still understand certain things. This brings us back to his statement. The player threatened to leave the league yesterday.
Where else would he not find racism? In England, it’s less in the stadiums, and there’s been great work done, but wherever Vinicius goes, he would have to change his behavior because he would end up worse off than if he stayed at Real Madrid.
Many great battles begin while you’re troubling yourself. Troubling yourself can be an element that pushes you toward your essence.
Vinicius triggered a movement. This little man is full of talent, and I consider him one of the top players today.
He just turned space around and entered a dimension that could force respect. Vinicius can change many things in the stadiums, and for many people who take pleasure in saying he is not the only black person at Real Madrid or in other teams, we need to ponder a bit more.
With his penchant for jesting and provocation, Vinicius poses a risk. We all concur that if today’s response involves employing racism as a weapon, it will represent a grave issue.
The Consequences of Violating the ‘Black Code’
This implies that our other players don’t face such issues because they choose to abide by a particular unspoken code of conduct, often called the “black code.” However, this could be seen as them doing others a favor, which we must comprehend.
It means we don’t tell you anything but what we think of you. A person who insults your brother on his origin is not a person who truly respects you for who you are, ah ah ah, even if it’s your friend who says that.
This supports Vinicius in a series of steps because I think he needs to be bigger than that, but the movement he triggered opens an honest debate. I prefer to make you angry to see what’s under your feet rather than doing everything you like and never knowing your true face.
La Liga Leadership’s Response to Racism Incidents
Regrettably, the leadership of La Liga will have to pay attention to this situation. Regardless of Real Madrid’s issues with the Brazilian player’s demeanor, he is still one of their own. His involvement in such incidents risks tarnishing the reputation of a championship already experiencing a downturn.
In stadiums, Vinicius is subject to ridicule, with slurs and derogatory language such as monkey chants. Atletico fans, for instance, are particularly harsh towards him.
The Brazilian player is taking on a significant risk by choosing to remain authentic to his identity. However, it’s a risk he seems willing to bear.
In whichever field one chooses to evolve, one must adopt a persona that complies with all the codes or play its role in the film. The first choice, as mentioned earlier, secures affection and consideration.
Although they don’t honestly know you, even if, at any moment, they may break and hit a player like Zidane in the world cup, it’s easier for them to forgive you for your pose than your genuine first impression.
The second choice is a pride-breaking choice, and it’s not just Cantona, Balotelli, El Mundo, and others who will refute me. We’re talking about brilliant players, who would have left an enormous trace, if they were primarily focused on what’s most important, sometimes their egos.
Moving Beyond Real Madrid: Vinicius’s Prospects
Vinicius must realize that he’s venturing into uncertain territory. He needs to understand that his departure will only sometimes advance his cause.
This is Real Madrid – players come and go. Even stars like Ronaldo, Ramos, and Marcelo, who have departed, are quickly replaced and often forgotten.
He should thank Mbappé for choosing to stay at PSG because, I guarantee you, the Frenchman would have eclipsed him because they have already put him on a pedestal.
The Social Responsibility of Modern Football Stars
It’s not about being able to play that we’re discussing here. Despite Vinicius’ status, he’s not enjoying the same privileges as Mbappé, Haaland, or Benzema.
Unlike his peers, Rashford, Mbappé, and Sterling have shown significant commitment to social issues. Sterling, for instance, recently founded a university in England specifically to benefit individuals from black communities.
Vinicius hasn’t been quite involved in managing his public image or making charitable contributions. He still needs to take strong positions on issues of significance, thereby limiting his voice and influence in the broader social context.
Vinicius just sparked a big bonfire. Let’s see if he finds his essence, mission, and maturity. Let’s see if he can handle the insult, the challenge. Because he can make history even more, let’s follow to see.