Lawmakers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, have approved a legislation aimed at addressing racist abuse during football matches following the mistreatment of Real Madrid player Vinicius Junior.
The legislation, drafted by State Deputy Prof. Josemar, seeks to promote respect and combat racism in stadiums by establishing protocols for handling racist incidents.
Dubbed “Vini Jr’s law” by supporters, the legislation unanimously passed in the legislative assembly and will now be sent for the governor’s approval. Under the proposed law, matches will be temporarily halted or suspended in the event of a complaint or proven racist behavior. Individuals can report suspected racist acts to the authorities.
Vinicius Junior, a native of Rio de Janeiro, has faced racist abuse on multiple occasions while playing in Spain. The incidents sparked criticism of Spanish football culture and the handling of discrimination by authorities. In response to the abuse he faced, Vinicius expressed his disappointment and highlighted the need to address racism in football.
The mistreatment prompted protests, including the unilluminating of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and a formal complaint by Brazil to the Spanish ambassador.
The legislation aims to combat racism in football and send a strong message against discriminatory behavior. By taking this step, Rio de Janeiro seeks to create an environment of respect and inclusivity within its football stadiums.