Real Madrid’s main striker, Vinicius Junior, shed tears during the game. It’s not because his knee is bent or his ankle is sprained. He was a tear of anger and resentment towards the audience who discriminated against him just because he was of a different race.스포츠토토

On the 22nd of last month, a shocking incident occurred during the match between Real Madrid and Valencia at Mestaja Stadium in Valencia. In the second half of the game, another ball came into the field when Vinicius broke through the dribble from the left flank. The Valencia defender kicked the ball as if kicking it, but it hit the ball that Vinicius was dribbling. There seemed to be a lot of willfulness. Vinicius expressed his dissatisfaction with the umpire, and it was a protest that everyone recognized. At that time, Valencia’s home fans started shouting “monkey” to Vinicius. Vinicius lost his temper and ran into the stands. He burst into tears as if completely stunned, and later got into a physical fight with an opposing player and was sent off.

Vinicius’ tears were a great shock. It is not simply because of the fact that racism has occurred. This is because racism has been a very common issue in the football world. However, the sense of helplessness and loss against discrimination, which shows no signs of improving despite the numerous responses so far, comes as a great shock. Like this time, racial discrimination not only occurs between fans and players, but also between players and players or between fans and fans. There were even instances of racial discrimination between referees and team coaches.

Even if you listen to the stories of Korean leaguers who played in Europe, racial discrimination is always lurking around them, even if a specific situation is not necessarily an issue. Lee Young-pyo, who appeared on the YouTube channel ‘Shoot for Love’ in the past, said bitterly, “I’m in charge of the throw-in, so I can hear everything the crowd is saying right behind me. I hear a lot of (racist) remarks at that time. I even make monkey noises.” What did the soccer world realize from the countless racial discriminations and how did it respond? Is coping headed in the right direction?

# Cases of Evra and Alves

This incident is not a fight between a spectator and a player. It was a conflict between players and players. Manchester United’s legendary full-back Patrice Evra had a racist fight with Uruguay’s legendary striker Suárez. In an October 2011 match at Anfield, Evra and Suárez had a ball fight, and at this time, Suárez called Evra “Negro”. To Evra, who was angry, Suárez again mentioned the same word seven times and inflicted racial discrimination. Suárez was suspended for eight matches and fined for the incident. Afterwards, Suárez appealed the sanctions and even went to court.

Brazilian defender Daniel Alves also has a history of fighting racism openly. During a La Liga match in 2014, a racist threw a banana onto the pitch. It was a situation where Alves, who was preparing for a corner kick, fell head-on. He immediately picked up a banana, ate it leisurely, and kicked a corner kick. In response to this witty response, numerous colleagues cheered him up by posting a so-called ‘banana proof shot’ on social media. At the time, FIFA president Blatter declared a war against racism ahead of the World Cup, and at the time, banana-throwing spectators were banned from entering the home stadium for life after identification.

# The Case of Heung-Min Son

Heung-Min Son, the ‘captain’ of the Korean national team, also experienced racial discrimination while living abroad from a young age. In his fan meeting interview last year, he said, “When he went to Germany as a child, he lived an unimaginably difficult life.” He is constantly confronting racist acts tearing out spectators’ eyes in the arena. In particular, during the most recent game against Crystal Palace, he was racially harassed by some away fans while walking past the away box. It was an outright mockery of Son Heung-min, not only tearing out his eyes, but also laughing badly and swearing at his fingers.

Tottenham cooperated with the police and the opposing team to ban the spectators from entering the stadium, which is not much different from the previous response. Son Heung-min responded confidently, saying, “Everyone knows that I am racially discriminated against in England. I think it is a good way not to respond separately to racial discrimination.”

Looking at the external response so far, it was mainly seen that the spectators were banned from entering the stadium, and the players were suspended from the game. In an era where social media is active like these days, each team posted a post condemning racial discrimination through social media. It was also seen that the players were all in solidarity and supported the player who was racist. Still, the problem did not go away at all, and the festering wound opened again with the case of Vinicius. First of all, racism itself is still rampant. There are still many foolish people in Europe who do not accept the mixing of races. And there are still blind spots that are difficult for the police and teams to deal with realistically, such as issues of racism between fans and fans.

What kind of response is being made in the case of Vinicius? First of all, the wind of change is blowing from La Liga, where the incident occurred. At Real Madrid’s home game on the 25th, all the players of Real Madrid came out wearing Vinicius’ jersey number to support him, and the home fans put up cheering banners and chanted his name. In the match between Barcelona and Valladolid, players from both teams joined in a ceremony calling for the eradication of racial discrimination. Of course, the actual response has already begun. Fans who perpetrate racial discrimination are likely to face criminal penalties following a permanent ban from entering the stadium.

Gianni Infantino, president of the International Football Federation (FIFA), also spoke out. He said, “I send my full support to Vinicius. We will help all players who have suffered racism like this,” he said, expressing a strong response to racism in the future football world. Even within Brazil, anger towards La Liga is growing. Brazil’s President Lula also expressed his anger, and people from all over the world are rising up and gathering their will to Vinicius.

It doesn’t seem to be much different from the way we dealt with it so far, but it seems that the intensity has become stronger and wider. Such a tough response should be maintained in the future. It should not stop at one-off. And more importantly, to improve the perception of all football fans visiting the stadium. A lot of effort is needed in terms of education and culture so that racial differences do not lead to discrimination. This is true not only in football, but in any field.

Football is one of the most popular sports around the world. Soccer has the power to unite people of different generations, genders, occupations, and other backgrounds. When you enjoy soccer, don’t you all forget the difference between each other and cheer for the team’s victory with all your nerves focused on one ball? Some may call soccer a simple ball game or sport, but because of these characteristics, soccer is believed to have a spirit beyond sports. Racism that divides people is completely against the great spirit of football. We need to erase racism from football as soon as possible. Only then will we be able to truly comfort Vinicius’ tears.

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