'I'm not a victim of racism. I'm the tormentor of racists,' says Vini Jr after his aggressors were convicted

Brazilian football player star takes a firm stance amid the historic decision of the Spanish justice system

Translated by: Ana Paula Rocha

Brasil de Fato | Rio de Janeiro |
The football player star said the conviction of his attackers “is in the name of all Blacks” - Jose Jordan/AFP

Real Madrid's Brazilian striker Vinícius Júnior celebrated the conviction of three racist attackers for offenses against him. In a post on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), he wrote: “I'm not a victim of racism. I’m the tormentor of racists." The unprecedented sentence was published by Spanish courts on Monday (10).

In the post, Vini Jr, as he is known, also states that "the first criminal conviction in the history of Spain is not just for me. It's in the name of all Blacks." The attackers, Valencia fans, were sentenced to eight months in prison and two years away from Spanish football stadiums.

"Let the other racists be afraid, ashamed and hide in the shadows. Otherwise, I'll be here to demand measures. Thank you to La Liga and Real Madrid for helping to bring about this historic conviction. There's more to come..." Vini added, citing the stance taken by the club he plays for and the top professional soccer organization that manages the Spanish soccer league, which both supported the Brazilian star.

The case

The episode that led to the convictions happened on May 21, 2023, during a match at Valencia's stadium in the city of the same name. The Brazilian soccer player was called “mono” (“monkey” in Spanish) by Valencia fans. The match was interrupted but resumed, and Vini Jr was sent off after responding to an aggressive act by another player.

A few days later, the three men accused of racism were arrested but later released to stand trial. It isn’t sure whether they will be imprisoned after their conviction, as Spanish law allows convicts whose sentence is less than two years to be suspended in the case of first-time offenders. They will have to pay the costs of the trial.

In its ruling, the court that heard the case in Valencia stated that the gestures and verbal insults caused the Brazilian player feelings such as “frustration”, “shame”, “humiliation” and “violation of dignity.”

One of Real Madrid's leading players at the moment, and tipped to be voted the world’s best footballer this year, Vini Jr has had to face recurring racist episodes in Spain. In a recent press conference, he became emotional when talking about the subject, going so far as to say “I feel less and less like playing.”


Edited by: Geisa Marques