Carlo Ancelotti has said the racism storm related to a Spanish television guest telling Vinicius Jr. to ‘stop playing the money’ hasn’t been discussed in the Real Madrid dressing room.
Pedro Bravo, president of the Spanish Agents association, told the Brazilian winger to stop ‘playing the monkey’ on the controversial late-night football talk show El Chiringuito following Real Madrid’s 4-1 win over Mallorca.
The agent later apologised for his comments in which he also told Vinicius that his celebratory dances were welcome in Brazil but not in Spain.
Speaking to the press ahead of the Madrid derby on Sunday evening, Ancelotti lamented the racism towards his player before revealing the incident had not been discussed within the confines of the Real Madrid dressing room.
‘Firstly, I think it’s important to highlight that I don’t usually see this kind of racism in Spain. The club made a statement and Vinícius made a statement and I agree with those. He is doing well and working as hard as ever with the rest of the team,’ Ancelotti said.
‘This issue isn’t something we’ve discussed in our dressing room. We’ve been talking about football there. We haven’t discussed it because I think he already discussed it well in his statement,’ the Italian added.
Carlo Ancelotti said the incident involving Pedro Bravo likening Vinicius Jr. to a monkey had not been discussed in the Real Madrid dressing room
‘I haven’t given him any advice on this issue, since I’m not his father or brother. I’m not worried about how it might affect the game. I don’t think it’s affecting him, as I’ve seen him with his usual joy.
‘We’re playing a football game and it’s an away game, which we’re used to. Of course, Atletico’s fans will support their team. We’re just thinking about how to defeat them, nothing more.’
Many figures from across the footballing landscape leapt to the defence of Vinicius in the days following Bravo’s use of the slur on El Chiringuito.
Spanish agent Pedro Bravo told Vinicius Jr to ‘stop playing the monkey’ on El Chringuito TV
‘They say that happiness bothers,’ Vinicius himself said in a video posted to social media.
‘The happiness of a victorious black Brazilian in Europe bothers much more.
‘But my desire to win, my smile and the sparkle in my eyes are much bigger than that.
‘You can’t even imagine it. I was a victim of a xenophobic and racist comment. But none of that started yesterday.’
He added: ‘Weeks ago they began to criminalise my dances. Dances that are not mine.
Vinicius Jnr issued a video on social media responding to racist abuse aimed at his dancing
The Real Madrid star was criticised for his dancing celebration after scoring against Mallorca
‘They belong to Ronaldinho, Neymar, [Lucas] Paqueta, [Antoine] Griezmann, Joao Felix, Matheus Cunha… they belong to Brazilian funk and samba artists, reggaeton singers, and black Americans.
‘Those are dances to celebrate the cultural diversity of the world. Accept it, respect it. I’m not going to stop.’
Meanwhile, Neymar captioned a social media post showing him and Vinicius dancing while on international duty with Brazil: ‘Dribble, dance and be yourself, happy to be who you are! Go for the top, my friend, we will dance on your next goal.’
Brazil legend Pele also defended Vinicius, saying the continued presence of racism will not prevent them from ‘continuing to smile’.
Bravo took to Twitter to apologise and insist that the expression was meant ‘metaphorically’
‘Football is joy. It’s a dance. It’s a real party,’ he wrote on social media.
‘Although racism still exists, we will not allow that to stop us from continuing to smile. And we will continue to fight racism this way: fighting for our right to be happy.’
Real Madrid themselves released a statement following the comments threatening legal action against anybody who said anything racist or offensive against any of their players.
Neymar and Pele have both taken to social media to support the Real Madrid star. Neymar told Vinicius to ‘Dribble, dance and be yourself’ (above) after the racist comment
Pele said Football included ‘dancing’ and ‘joy’ and encouraged Vinicius to stand up to racism
‘Real Madrid CF rejects all kinds of racist and xenophobic expressions and behaviors in the field of football, sport and life in general, such as the regrettable and unfortunate comments made in recent hours against our player Vinicius Junior,’ the club’s statement read.
‘Real Madrid wants to show all its love and support for Vinicius Junior, a player who understands football as an attitude towards life based on joy, respect and sportsmanship.
‘Football, which is the most global sport that exists, must be an example of values and coexistence.
‘The club has instructed its legal services to take legal action against anyone who uses racist expressions towards our players.’