'I will not stop dancing' – Vinicius Junior responds to agent's 'monkey' comment

·2-min read

Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior insisted he "will not stop dancing" after comments with apparent racist connotations from Spanish football agent Pedro Bravo.

Bravo commented on Vinicius' dancing goal celebrations this week, telling El Chiringuito: "You have to respect your opponents. When you score a goal, if you want to dance Samba, you should go to [the] Sambadrome in Brazil. You have to respect your mates and stop playing the monkey."

The remark drew much criticism, with fellow Brazil internationals Neymar and Bruno Guimaraes leaping to Vinicius' defence, the latter saying Bravo should be "jailed".

Legendary forward Pele also denounced Bravo's comments, writing on Instagram: "Football is joy. It's a dance. It's more than that. It's a real party.

"Although, unfortunately, racism still exists, we will not allow that to stop us from continuing to smile. And we will continue to fight racism every day in this way: fighting for our right to be happy and respected."

Bravo later apologised on Twitter, saying he had "misused" the word.

Vinicius has now spoken out himself on the statement, saying in a video posted to his Instagram: "As long as the colour of the skin is more important than the brightness of the eyes, there will be war.

"They say that happiness bothers. 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.

"I was a victim of xenophobia and racism in a single statement. They are dances to celebrate the cultural diversity of the world. Accept it, respect it. I'm not going to stop.

"I always try to be a professional and an exemplary citizen. But that doesn't click, it's not trending on the internet, nor does it motivate cowards to talk aggressively about people they don't even know.

"The script always ends with an apology and 'I've been misunderstood.' But I repeat it for you, racist: I will not stop dancing. Whether at the Sambadrome, at the Bernabeu or wherever."