Vini Jnr & Racism In Spain
Black Coffee gives his experiences concerning racism in Spain and what footballers need to do about it
A few days ago a Brazilian footballer who plays for top Spanish team Real Madrid was subjected to racism against Valencia FC, another one of Spain's top teams.
It started as he was leaving the team bus, when he was bombarded with chants of “mono” , which means monkey in Spanish, this then continued in the stadium whilst he was playing football.
Vinculus Jnr, who is one of the best players in the world, stopped the game to point out what was happening, he was then subject to being choked by a Valencia player, and a scuffle then unfolded.
I live in Spain and this is no surprise to me, racism and xenophobia is in the fabric of Spanish culture and will be for a long time.
Racist Spanish people, like all cowards, like to be racist to people who they believe won’t fight back, so black women are subject to more racism than anyone here, this racism is usually brushed aside by the people who make comparisons with the USA, for example “its not as bad as the US” or that if people don’t like it, they should just leave the country.
This incident didn’t just happen between two minor teams though, this was Real Madrid against Valencia, to put it in perspective, Valencia, after Madrid and Barcelona, is the third-biggest city in Spain.
This is a serious blow to a country that wants to be taken seriously on the international stage and derives much of its income from tourism, something definitely has to be done about it because it wasn't just one or two people in the stadium, these were chants from large groups of people.
What this indicates to me is that progression in Spain is just an illusion. In the neighborhood where I work, I regularly see Nazi signs graffitied on walls and park benches and have been subjected to stop and searches on many occasions.
I’m rarely racially abused though, though many black women have told me that it regularly happens to them.