Debate in Spain over racism in football
Brazilian Real Madrid player Vinicius Junior was subjected to racist insults by fans at a football match in Valencia on Sunday. The match was interrupted and there were outbursts of violence. Shortly afterwards, several people were arrested over an incident in which a brown blow-up doll wearing a Vicinius jersey was hung from a bridge in Madrid. The incident is causing controversy ahead of the Spanish regional and local elections.
Not only millionaires are affected
Writing in El País, Afro-Cuban journalist Abraham Jiménez Enoa calls for more social commitment:
“The sad thing is that we are talking about racism in Spain today because of the Vinicius case and not because of the existence of the phenomenon in itself. ... Racism is on everyone’s lips today because a Real Madrid player, a millionaire, is being targeted. ... If that weren’t the case, no one would open their mouths. Of course there is racism in Spain. It shapes the everyday life of those of us who aren’t white. ... Spanish society as a whole must work to eradicate it. ... There’s no point hanging up a banner that reads ‘No to racism’ in a football stadium and then allowing the fans to call black players monkeys.”
Suddenly a big campaign topic
Before this incident racism was hardly an issue in the debates leading up to the local and regional elections next Sunday, Ctxt.es points out:
“There has been a 180-degree turn in the election campaign. ... This firm rejection of racism by powerful groups and major media companies is a new scenario with unforeseeable consequences. ... It is likely that the media groups, acting all of a sudden as if they were under orders from Malcolm X, will strongly denounce any potential pacts between PP and Vox. Such pacts would give control of the country’s institutions to the far-right forces that recently called for the expulsion of a black Podemos MP with Spanish citizenship. ... Rarely has a country changed so much within just a few hours.”