The racist abuse directed at Real Madrid's Brazilian star Vinícius Jr. in the match against Valencia on Sunday, has brought the spotlight back on the R-word. It is, reportedly, the eighth such incident against him this LaLiga season for which a complaint has been filed.
But, the Brazilian is not the only player who has been at the receiving end of the racist attacks. Here's a look at some incidents of racism in the LaLiga in the past few years.
1. Albacete’s Roman Zozulya was called a “Nazi” (December 2019)
Some fans of Rayo Vallecano accused Albacete’s striker Roman Zozulya of being a “Nazi” during a match between the two clubs on December 15, 2019, which was then suspended at halftime by the referee. The decision was backed by both the teams and the LaLiga in support of the Ukrainian player.
2. Racist slurs hurled at Athletic Bilbao’s Iñaki Williams (January 2020)
During a match between RCD Espanyol de Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, held at the RCDE Stadium on January 25, 2020, racial slurs were hurled at Williams as he left the field in the 69th minute. The incident sparked the first “xenophobic hate crime” trial in Spanish football.
3. Cádiz CF’s Carlos Akapo was racially abused (February 2022)
Carlos Akapo was racially abused at the Estadio de los Cármenes on February 28, 2022, during a match between his team Cádiz CF and rival Granada CF. The identified fan voluntarily turned himself in though the case is still being investigated.
4. Nico Williams, Iñaki’s brother and also an Athletic Bilbao player, racially abused (March 2023)
During a match between Real Betis and Athletic Bilbao on March 13, 2022, Nico Williams, Iñaki’s brother, too was racially abused at the Estadio Benito Villamarín. The case was closed by the Seville Public Prosecutor’s Office for Hate Crimes on the grounds that the accused was not a person who supports racism and though the gesture is incorrect, it does not cross the line of a criminal offence.
5. Vinicius Jr’s no. 20 jersey burned on an effigy hanging from a bridge (January 2023)
The aforementioned incident is not the first time the Real Madrid winger has faced racism. An effigy wearing his jersey was hung from a bridge and burnt, with a banner reading “Madrid hates Real” draped next to it. This incident occurred in the early hours on January 26, 2023, ahead of the Copa Del Ray quarterfinal match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.