From Nazi Salute to Monkey Doll: Atletico Fans Bring Shame to The Beautiful Game

Vinicius Junior has been on fire form this year.

The Brazilian has scored 4 and assisted 1 in the 6 games that he has played for Real Madrid this season – and with these goals and assists come celebrations. 

One of his iconic celebrations this year is the Brazilian Samba, a type of dance that is inherently joyful. 

However, Twitter turned into a warzone after some people called Vinicius disrespectful regarding the dancing celebration he pulled off against Mallorca. 

The real issue started after people brought race and colour into the debate. 

Vinicius Jr has been subjected to racial abuse, including from renowned people like Pedro Bravo, who is the president of the Spanish agents association.

He was forced to retract his comments after criticizing the Brazil international for “playing the monkey.”

Furthermore, Koke, Atletico’s midfielder, said that Vinicius’ dance was disrespectful and that if he tried that at Wanda, Atletico’s home stadium, there would be trouble. 

This was seen as a threat by a lot of people and added fire to the already furious debate. 

This statement, along with all the debate about dance as a celebration, was especially seen as racist because Atletico themselves have had prominent dancing celebrations in the past, where no one has said a word. 

Star striker Griezmann was famous for doing the “Take the L” dance, and just as recently as last week, Atletico posted this on their Twitter. 

After this incident, all of Brazil and the rest of the world alike came together in support of Vini.

From current teammates like Neymar to all-time legends like Pele, all issued statements asking Vinicius to keep dancing and got the hashtag “#BailaViniJr” trending – which translates to Dance Vini Jr. 

Gabriel Jesus, Vini’s Brazilian teammate, who scored a day after all of this went down, danced to celebrate his goal in solidarity with Vinicius Jr. 

Arsenal’s official Twitter also tweeted his dance with the hashtag #BailaViniJr to further drive the point home for any who missed it.

Though, all of this did not rattle the racist fans.

Before the Madrid Derby, loads of Atletico fans were heard singing “Vinicius is a Monkey” chants.

Atletico Madrid’s tweet asking fans to support the team with ‘passion’ while also showing ‘respect’ to their opponents clearly had no effect.

One of them was even spotted with an incredibly racist life-size monkey doll. 

This is absolutely vile behaviour from these fans, but Vinicius and the Real Madrid team were not fazed. 

Real went on to win the game 2-1, and Vinicius kept his promise of dancing in front of the stadium after Rodrygo scored a goal in the first half of the game.

The heinous abuse apparently continued inside the stadium, with Atletico fans insulting Rodrygo and Vinicius when they celebrated the first-half goal.

Vini’s tweet translates to “Dance whenever you want”.

The fans were surely rattled, but the only “trouble”, as Koke mentioned earlier, that was seen, was the trouble Atletico were in. 

Real Madrid have also backed their ace by promising to prosecute any future violators.

We don’t know who they might take legal action against, but we hope one of them is this guy, who is putting up a Nazi salute in the stadium in response to the Rodrygo goal. 

Racism has been an issue in Spanish football and world football in general. 

With this incident getting worldwide recognition, we hope legal action and big fines start putting an end to this disease that is plaguing the beautiful game. 

#SayNoToRacism cannot just be a hashtag or a marketing campaign. It needs to be a reality.