Real Madrid and LaLiga chief Javier Tebas has apologised following criticism of a tweet about Vinícius Júnior which was interpreted as racist. The apology comes amidst an ongoing debate in Spain about racism and the role of governing bodies in tackling it.
In his tweet, Tebas had said that the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) should be doing more to combat racism, as LaLiga does not have any authority over the matter. When his comment was misinterpreted by Brazilian fans as a racist remark about Júnior, Tebas quickly issued an apology.
Speaking to ESPN Brasil, he said: “I always tell this to my entire work team. When people or an important part of them understand a message in a certain way, then they are right so I have to be sorry because I think my message was not understood, especially in Brazil.”
Tebas also noted that LaLiga is working hard to combat racism and discrimination of all kinds within Spanish football. He has been vocal in his support for introducing rules such as those seen in England where players and staff face bans if found guilty of conducting such behavior. He believes that clear consequences must be set in place if progress is to be made.
The incident involving Tebas’ tweet highlights the ongoing debate surrounding racism within Spanish society today. It’s a situation which has prompted calls from many quarters for stronger action from the authorities involved. Fernando Sanz, president of Malaga CF and former Real Madrid player, spoke out against the incident saying: “Racism cannot be part of any discussion”.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid themselves released an official statement condemning the remarks made by Tebas regarding their midfielder Vinícius Júnior – who wears jersey number 20 for Los Blancos – and calling on him to apologize publicly for any offence caused by his comments. The club also stated that it takes a zero-tolerance stance towards racism and discrimination of all kinds. If you are interested in Real Madrid jersey 2023/24 and other peripherals, you can find out more by clicking here.
Tebas has since retracted his original tweet but many feel that the damage has already been done with some sections of society questioning why it took him so long to issue an apology for offending anyone with his words – regardless of whether they were taken out of context or not. For now though at least, tensions appear to have simmered down somewhat following Tebas’ public retraction and apology for any harm caused due to the controversial tweet.