Football legend, Pele, has sent a heartwarming message to Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr after the winger was on the receiving end of a racist remark for his dancing celebration.
Vinicius is known to celebrate the majority of his goals by dancing near the corner flag in front of fans, be it the away or home end of the stadium.
During an appearance on El Chiringuito, Pedro Bravo, the president of Spanish football agents, commented on the Brazilian’s celebration.
Bravo said, “You have to respect your opponents. When you score a goal, if you want to dance Samba, you should go to Sambodromo in Brazil. You have to respect your mates and stop playing the monkey.”
However, there has been quite some backlash due to the racist nature of Bravo’s comments.
Newcastle United’s Bruno Guimaraes, who is Vinicius’ teammate at the Brazil national team, has called for Bravo to be arrested by the authorities.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti also backed Vinicius and claimed that his player is modest when it matters and doesn’t need to change his attitude.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar, meanwhile, has asked his compatriot to ‘dribble, dance and be you’ amid all the drama.
Also, Barcelona boss, Xavi Hernandez, was asked about his opinion on the player’s celebration ahead of his side’s LaLiga tie with Elche on Saturday.
The former Spain midfielder said at his pre-match press conference: “Everyone celebrates goals the way they want. Let everyone do what they want as long as it’s not disrespectful.”
Now, Pele, one of the world’s greatest footballers, has also sent a message to Vinicius.
Pele wrote on Twitter on Friday: “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. #BailaViniJr.”