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Brazil’s Black Kit Is Soccer’s Latest Effort to Kick Back at Racism


Unfortunately, racism always seems to erupt in soccer regardless of the level or location. The most incident involves the targeting of Brazilian player, Vinícius Júnior, who plays for Real Madrid in La Liga.

A few short weeks ago in Valencia, Spain, vicious racist insults were hurled at the 22-year-old by fans who called him “monkey” while making monkey noises. It got so bad that Júnior was reduced to tears.

Yet this wasn’t the first time the young star endured hatred, nor was it the first time he experienced it in Spain.

In January, an effigy of Vinícius was hung off a bridge in Madrid near the team’s training area. And according to CNN, “Vinícius has been subjected to racist abuse from the stands on 10 occasions during La Liga matches over the past two seasons.”

It’s gotten so bad that seven people were arrested last month and charged with a hate crime for their racist behavior directed at Vinícius.

To his credit, Vinícius has not shied away from speaking out against the racist antics.

“I have a purpose in life,” he said on Twitter, “and if I have to keep suffering so that future generations won’t have to go through these types of situations, I’m ready and prepared.”

But it shouldn’t be his sole responsibility to stand up and fight back. He should be supported in the effort to squash and punish racists who continue to tarnish “The Beautiful Game.”

After the most recent incident, La Liga formally requested to be given powers to combat racism in the sport. The league noted that it can’t punish clubs or fans for racist incidents as that falls to RFEF committees (The Royal Spanish Football Federation) or regional prosecutors. However, back in 2013, FIFA created a racism taskforce and strengthened its disciplinary code, which was emulated by sanctioning bodies like UEFA, so the precedent was there.

Apparently, La Liga has been slow to react to the persistent and growing problem.

Now, Brazil has decided to step in and address the issue marring the country’s favorite sport.

Over the weekend, the entire Brazilian men’s national team donned Black kits in the first half of its friendly against Guinea in an effort to bring attention to racism in soccer.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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