Brazil’s iconic landmark goes dark for an hour
Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer had its lights switched off for an hour on Monday in solidarity with Vinicius Jr over the racist insults the Brazilian footballer received in Sunday’s match at Mestalla.
The gesture is a cooperation between the Sport and Faith Centre of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Christ the Redeemer, the Brazilian Football Confederation and the Observatory of Racial Discrimination in Football.
Vinicius has received expressions of support from all over the world in the wake of what happened in Valencia. Many of the messages came from his native Brazil.
This gesture has been praised by the Real Madrid player himself. “Black and imposing. Christ the Redeemer was like that. An action of solidarity that moves me. But I want, above all, to inspire and bring more light to our struggle. I am very grateful for all the love and support I have received in recent months. Both in Brazil and around the world. I know exactly who is who. Count on me because the good ones are the majority and I will not give up. I have a purpose in life and if I have to suffer more and more so that future generations do not go through similar situations, I am ready and prepared,” said Vinicius.
The Christ the Redeemer administrators joined the messages condemning racism which multiplied in Brazil on Monday.
The government itself, in a statement, condemned “in the strongest terms” the racist insults that Vinicius “has been suffering repeatedly in Spain” and demanded that the government and football authorities in that country, as well as FIFA, take “effective” measures.
In a harsh official statement issued by the foreign ministry, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva‘s government “deeply regrets that, so far, no effective measures have been taken to prevent and avoid the repetition of these acts of racism”.
The Brazilian government’s reaction to what happened in Mestalla has been immediate and harsh, to the point that these events were commented on by President Lula himself on Monday, in statements to journalists on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
“It is not fair that a poor young man who has triumphed in life and who is becoming one of the best footballers should suffer this type of attack”, declared Lula, who pointed out that “we cannot allow fascism and racism to take over football stadiums”.