Vinicius Jr: Lights go out on Christ the Redeemer as Brazil condemn support for Vinicius Jr
Brazil turned off the lights of Christ the Redeemer on Monday in a show of solidarity with Vinicius Jr as the country condemned ‘racist attacks’ against the Real Madrid striker.
Rio de Janeiro’s iconic statue lay dormant for an hour on Monday night after 24 hours that saw most of the footballing world rally in support of the national hero following another incident of racist abuse at a a LaLiga game.
The Brazilian FA, the Observatory of Racial Discrimination in Football and the Archdiocesan Shrine, which manages the monument, carried out the act.
“The Archdiocesan Shrine of Christ the Redeemer repudiates the racist attacks suffered by Brazilian player Vinicius Junior,” the organization said in an Instagram post.
“The monument’s lighting will be turned off as a symbol of the collective fight against racism and in solidarity with the player and all those who experience prejudice around the world.”
Earlier on Monday, the Brazilian government earlier called on Spanish and sporting authorities to punish those responsible for the ‘racist attacks’ against the player, while the president of football’s governing body FIFA, Gianni Infantino, expressed his solidarity.
Other sports figures such as Kylian Mbappe, Rio Ferdinand and Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton have also expressed their support for Vinicius Jr.
The 22-year-old Brazil international then posted a photo of the statue silhouetted against the moon on Twitter and expressed his gratitude for the support he had received.
“Black and imposing. Christ the Redeemer was like that just now. An action of solidarity that moved me. But above all I want to inspire and bring more light to our fight,” he wrote.
Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales has admitted there is a real problem with racism in the country’s football where “press releases don’t work anymore”.
Additional reporting by Press Association.