Abhorrent racism towards professional football players is not only appalling for the victims, but also sews hate in society on a global stage. To compound an already shocking situation, once again the target of the abuse, Vinicius Jr, received a red card, has been criticised and victim-shamed and has received a torrent of further vitriol on social media.
We commend Vinicius Jr for repeatedly calling out racism by supporters and to highlight the systemic nature of discriminatory abuse that still exists across sections of football. This and the many other cases of racism in stadiums should be dealt with at the highest level in the country where they occur. We fully endorse AFE’s decision to file a complaint to Spain’s public prosecutor.
At the same time, our game also has a responsibility to act. We once again call on international and national football bodies to overhaul the three-step protocol which has repeatedly proven weak and ineffectual in combatting racism in stadiums. Players remain exposed and insufficiently protected in their place of work against racism and other forms of abuse and harassment.