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Racist abuse of Vinicius Jr makes Graham Hunter feel 'physically ill'

Atletico Madrid fans' racist abuse targeting Vinicius Jr makes Graham Hunter feel physically ill.



Graham Hunter joined The Football Show to discuss the racist abuse directed at Vinicius Jr from Atletico Madrid fans.

Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid at the weekend. Carlo Ancelotti's side maintains a 100% record in the league so far this season.

But the bigger story emanating from the game was the abuse captured on camera directed towards Vinicius Jr. Racist abuse is unfortunately not new in Spanish football. And 24 hours later, neither the club nor La Liga have released a statement condemning the scenes.

It's more widely accepted in Spain for fans to chant at black players or throw bananas in their direction. Vinicius Jr is just the latest in a long line of black players to be targeted.

Real Madrid's Marcelo was once targeted after a game while with his young son. Dani Alves famously ate a banana that was thrown at him while he was taking a corner. Black players receive racist abuse from the stands, from the media and from opponents in Spain with some regularity.

Graham Hunter is based in Spain and he has been for more than 20 years now. Hunter explains his reaction to the latest case of racist abuse.

"It makes you want to vomit," Hunter said.

"It makes me right now feel physically ill that we live in a barbarian, dark [society]. Flipping heck, if we can elect racists and thieves to the government in England and the government in Washington, then are we really surprised that these people will stand outside the area where the Madrid bus arrives and shout 'Vinicius is a monkey'?"

Football fans are not the barometer of a society. In general, fandom corrupts morals and leads to bad behaviour. But fandom alone isn't the explanation here. As Hunter notes, there's a wider societal problem with the majority's treatment of minorities. And it's evident across the globe.

Hunter notes that his two daughters are his measure for how Spain is moving slowly in the right direction. His first daughter received no education on racism or awareness of it when she went through school. His younger daughter nine years later is at least receiving some input from teachers in the country.

But even if things are getting better, it's not happening quickly. Fans will continue to act this way for the foreseeable future.

"It is still not uncommon [in Spain]. Although in my experience over the last 20 years it is decreasing to hear monkey noises in a stadium. If a black player in someway annoys the fans by claiming a throw-in for his side when it maybe not [it still happens].

"There are still some people inside of stadiums who will target him and other black players. I think it's on the decrease a little bit."

Trent Alexander-Arnold must look inside to get better.

 

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