Vini Jr. And La Liga Racism Controversy laliga kkk logo meme.

Vini Jr. La Liga Racism Controversy

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Updated May 22, 2023 at 03:13PM EDT by Zach.

Added May 22, 2023 at 02:02PM EDT by Mateus.

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The Vini Jr. La Liga Racism Controversy refers to a controversial event in which Brazilian soccer player Vini Jr. (Vinicius Júnior) was a victim of racism during a May 2023 match between the Spanish teams Valencia and Real Madrid where some of Valencia's fans shouted racist insults directed at the Brazilian player in the second half of the match, calling him a "monkey." After the event, Vini tweeted that another case of racism in La Liga occurred to him and that the "Championship belongs to racists." The event inspired accusations of racism by the organizers of the Spanish football league La Liga, with an image macro featuring a Ku Klux Klan hood of the organization's logo going viral on social media.


On May 21st, 2023, at Mestalla Stadium, Spain, fans of the football team Valencia[1] repeatedly shouted "mono" (monkey in Spanish) towards the Brazilian player Vini Jr, who tried to alert the referee Ricardo de Burgos where the offenses were coming from. The match between Valencia and Real Madrid[2] (Vini's team) ended with a 1-0 score and Vini Jr was expelled from the field after an altercation involving striker Hugo Duro and provoked by goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili.[3] On May 21st, the Twitter[4] page @desimpedidos posted a video showing the moment the Brazilian spots the Valencia fans who were showing racist slurs at him. The video garnered 113,000 views and 1,600 likes in one day (seen below).


After the May 21st, 2023, match, Vini Jr then went to the locker room and did not respond to journalists. On social media, Vinícius[5] vented about the incident (which wasn't the first racist act against him during a match), leaving a message to the Spaniards, stating how Spain is seen in Brazil and what the Spanish Championship has become. The tweet (seen below) received over 908,000 likes and 226,000 retweets in a day.

Vini Jr. @vinijr - Follow Real Madrid C.F. Não foi a primeira vez, nem a segunda e nem a terceira. O racismo é o normal na La Liga. A competição acha normal, a Federação também e os adversários incentivam. Lamento muito. O campeonato que já foi de Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano e Messi hoje é dos racistas. Uma nação... 5:18 PM - May 21, 2023 908.4K Reply 1, Share Read 49.9K replies Ⓡ

Translation: "It wasn't the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition thinks it's normal, the Federation does too and the opponents encourage it. I'm so sorry. The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi today belongs to racists. A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love, but which agreed to export the image of a racist country to the world. I'm sorry for the Spaniards who don't agree, but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists. And unfortunately, for everything that happens each week, I have no defense. I agree. But I am strong and I will go to the end against racists. Even if far from here."

La Liga's Response

In response to Vini's tweet on May 21st, 2023, the President of La Liga, Javier Tebas, posted on Twitter[6] a statement about the Brazilian striker, saying he (Vini Jr) does not understand the ways in which the association can act to combat racism and mentioned a meeting the striker did not attend to address the issue. He also classified Vini's manifestation as an insult against the league. His tweet (seen below) received over 30,200 likes and 21,600 retweets in a day.

Translation: "Since those who should do not explain what it is and what it can do the league in cases of racism, we have tried to explain it to you, but you have not shown up for either of the two agreed dates that you requested yourself. Before criticizing and insulting the league, it is necessary that you inform yourself adequately. Do not let yourself be manipulated and make sure you fully understand each other's competencies and the work we have been doing together."

Brazil's President Statment

The same day the event occurred, Brazil's current president, Lula da Silva, addressed the subject via Twitter.[11] He demanded that FIFA and other entities take steps to prevent racism from taking over football." The tweet (seen below) garnered over 161,900 likes and 20,200 retweets in a day.

Lula @LulaOficial Follow Queria fazer um gesto de solidariedade ao @vinijr, um jovem que certamente é o melhor jogador do Real Madrid, e que sofre repetidas ofensas. Espero que a Fifa e outras entidades tomem providências, para não deixar que o racismo tome conta do futebol. 8:22 PM - May 21, 2023 161.9K Reply ↑ Share Read 2K replies Ⓡ

Online Reactions

Shortly after the game ended, many people online began criticizing Valencia fans' attitudes for being racist and the referee's ejection of Vini Jr. The lack of a statement and support from La Liga organizers enraged numerous Brazilian fans of the footballer, who started to share an image macro of the championship's logo with a Ku Klux Klan cloak and hood overlayed on top.

The author of the meme is unknown, but one of the earliest usages was posted on May 21st, 2023, by Twitter[7] user @choquei. The image (seen below), was used as a response to the President of La Liga's statement after the controversial event. The post garnered 18,000 likes and 864 retweets in one day.

@Senhorkabuki LaLiga

The controversy was subsequently reported on by numerous media outlets the following day, including the New York Times,[8] G1[9] and UOL.[10]

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