Vinicius Jr. is a very talented player who has enjoyed winning a host of trophies in his five years at Real Madrid but sadly headlines are being taken away from his ability and instead focusing on the racist abuse that he’s so often receiving.
Speaking with Marca, Pepe Reina was asked to share his thoughts on the abuse the Brazilian received against Valencia and said: “I see that sometimes it’s not just racism, it’s not that a fan is racist or not, but rather that they take it out on a specific player, because he can talk too much at one point…
“It’s happened to us everyone, me included. As a general reflection, the less you provoke the stands, the less you provoke the rivals and the less you protest to the referee, the more respect you will have from everyone….
“He is becoming one of the best in the world. But I think he must also mature in behavior, in having more respect for his rivals, in understanding some unwritten football values or codes. That would improve his performance. It can’t be that every game away from home is a war for him”.
It’s deeply upsetting as a Liverpool fan to see that a real fan favourite, who spent eight years at Anfield, is now making excuses for racists who directed monkey chants at a 22-year-old young man.
The point the Spaniard is, very clumsily, trying to make is that a player who antagonises opposition players, fans and the referee is likely to receive abuse from the supporters – which is in some ways true.
However, to suggest that it’s then reasonable to expect that this should lead to racism is completely unforgivable.
Football is tribal and fans like to insult their opponents but there always has to be a line and when this is crossed, there must be punishments and repercussions.
The 40-year-old ex-Red is trying to explain why people may have to resort to racism because of how a player acts on a football field, there is never a time or a place to abuse someone because of the colour of their skin.
This outdated opinion is really upsetting to read and shows how far so many people still need to come in order to be educated about their outlook on racist abuse.
Shame on you Pepe.