Klopp baffled by reporter’s suggestion excusing racist comments
Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior has been the victim of racist attacks again and a reporter’s suggestion that he may “provoke” racism left Jurgen Klopp stunned.
It’s quite simple: there is no excuse for racism. There is no “but”, and there is no comma - the statement ends there. Since coming to Spain in 2018, Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior has unfortunately been victim to consistent racial abuse. In September, Atlético Madrid fans were recorded singing racist chants about him and in January, a sickening effigy of the player was hung from a bridge, again before a game with Atlético. It’s not just Atleti - Vinicius, along with other Black players, has had to deal with racist comments and items being thrown at him during other LaLiga games as well.
The fact that I can add this many related news pieces about the racist abuse Vinicius has had to endure is a testament to the fact that it is happening way too frequently...
There have been calls for more to be done about the racism, and LaLiga implemented a new anti-racism plan ahead of Madrid’s game against Osasuna on Saturday, but unfortunately, the hatred continued. Some fans in the stadium were chanting, “Die, Vinicius” during the game. Vinicius himself keeps up a positive attitude, saying that he won’t stop dancing, despite the attempts to bring down his spirit.
Klopp appalled by reporter’s question about Vinicius Junior
Ahead of the Real Madrid Champions League match against Liverpool, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was asked some of his thoughts about the racist remarks made against Vinicius Junior. What left him shocked, though, was when a reporter suggested he might think Vinicius brought some of this on himself.
“I wonder if you have ever noticed any provocative behavior from him?” asked the reporter.
Klopp’s face visibly twisted in confusion as he answered, “He’s doing something on the pitch that could cause the kind of things that happened to him, racism?”
The reporter responded, “Most of the time, yes.”
Klopp was stunned by the suggestion and said, “There is nothing in the world that could justify that. Whatever he’s doing on the pitch, I don’t know, but it would be nothing.”
“Imagine I would say, ‘yes, this part of his game could cause [racist abuse]. That’s completely insane. No, nothing.”
After speaking to the fact that there is not any type of behavior that would condone racist abuse, Klopp commented on Vinicius Junior as a player, and said he hoped these kinds of abuses would not affect his play.
“As far as I know, he is a world-class player. You should not leave him in one-vs-one situations alone,” said Klopp. “At a really young age, he didn’t get fussed by the way the game went [in the Champions League final], that they were not always dominant and stuff like this. He was there in the decisive moment.”
“I’m pretty sure that already makes him a Real Madrid legend at a very young age. I hope he’s not fussed by any idiots who say something about him.”