Pele and Gabriel Jesus lead messages of solidarity to Vinicius Jr after racist slur over dancing celebration

·2-min read
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Vinicius Jr has received support from across the sporting world after a senior figure in Spanish football made a racist slur in attacking his goal celebration.

Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus added his voice to the likes of Pele and Neymar in showing solidarity with the Real Madrid player following his dancing celebration against Mallorca last weekend.

Pedro Bravo, the president of the Spanish agents association, was forced to retract his statement after accusing Vinicius of “playing the monkey”.

The slur has caused huge controversy in LaLiga with a number of players leaping to Vinicius’ defence, Jesus tweeting on Friday night “Dance, Vini!” with a raised fist emoji.

Brazil legend Pele paid tribute to his countryman, tweeting: “Football is joy. It's a dance. It's a real party. 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.”

Thiago Silva, Lucas Paqueta and Eder Militao are among those to also condemn the slur. The Chelsea star said: “Dance always brother! Be yourself all the time. Don't allow anyone to take your happiness, this is not a lack of respect!”

Neymar wrote online: “Dribble, dance and be yourself, happy to be who you are! Go for the top, my friend, we will dance on your next goal.”

Bravo claimed he was speaking metaphorically when criticising Vinicius on the popular El Chiringuito TV show.

Newcastle midfielder Bruno Guimaraes went one step further and called for the Spaniard to be jailed. He commented: “This MORON needs to leave this place arrested! No excuses. If a guy says this on live TV, just imagine what he says when he's not. Inconceivable if this guy is not jailed.”