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Real Madrid's Vinicius Jr. Reacts as Racists Are Sentenced to Prison: Declares Himself "Tormentor of Racists"

Real Madrid's Vinicius Jr. Reacts as Racists Are Sentenced to Prison: Declares Himself "Tormentor of Racists"illustration

Following a landmark verdict by the Magistrate's Court of Valencia, three Valencia soccer fans were sentenced to eight months in prison for committing hate crimes against 's forward, Vinicius Junior, during a La Liga match in May 2023. The court's ruling, announced on Monday, marked the first conviction of Spanish soccer fans for racially abusing a player.

The convicted individuals, who remained unnamed, admitted to directing racist insults and gestures towards Vinicius, causing him feelings of humiliation and frustration. As part of their sentence, they are prohibited from entering soccer stadiums for two years and were ordered to cover legal expenses.

Vinicius welcomed the verdict, expressing his stance on social media. "Many asked me to ignore it, many others said that my fight was in vain and that I should just 'play '," Vinicius stated. "But, as I've always said, I'm not a victim of racism. I am a tormentor of racists."

The incident occurred during a tense match between Real Madrid and Valencia, resulting in a brief halt due to the racist abuse aimed at Vinicius. Despite being a frequent target of such behavior, the Brazilian international remained resolute, vowing to confront racism head-on.

"This first criminal conviction in the history of is not for me. It's for all black people," Vinicius asserted. "May other racists be afraid, ashamed and hide in the shadows. Otherwise, I'll be here to collect."

In response to the verdict, La Liga and Real Madrid issued statements affirming their commitment to combat racism within the sport. La Liga president Javier Tebas emphasized the significance of the ruling in deterring future instances of racism, while Real Madrid reiterated its dedication to upholding the values of the club and eradicating racist behavior from football.

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