Rodrygo scored the game-winning goal and raised his fist in support of his Real Madrid and Brazil teammate while Vincius Jnior watched from the bleachers.
In Madrid's first game after the most recent instance of racist abuse towards the player, who was abused by Valencia supporters on Sunday, it was one of several tributes to Vincius.
In the Spanish league on Wednesday, Rodrygo's late goal gave Madrid a 2-1 victory against Rayo Vallecano. “All the support for Vini was beautiful,” he remarked. “Many athletes might experience what occurred to him. We are aware that it often occurs in soccer. However, we are glad to see that everyone is working together to combat this.
The outpouring of support occurred a day after Valencia was fined and had to temporarily shut its stadium for five games, as well as after Spanish police detained seven individuals on suspicion of committing hate crimes.
Due to a slight injury, Vincius was unable to play, but all of his Real Madrid colleagues wore his No. 20 shirt before to start.
Vincius tweeted “Love you” after the game, along with a picture of his teammates standing behind him at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. “Thank you so much,” you said.
Vincius, who was dressed in street clothes, quickly entered the stadium before to the game to give the crowd a salute while Madrid players lined up with their backs to the crowd and his shirt on display. Vincius and club president Florentino Pérez watched the game together.
Fans cheered and screamed his name in the 20th minute. From the VIP area, the Brazilian got to his feet and returned the salute.
Many supporters came outside the stadium carrying signs denouncing racism and applauding Vincius, who is Black. Behind one of the goals inside was a large banner that said, “We are all Vinicius. There has been enough.
Before the game, players from both teams raised a banner that said “racists out of football” as part of a new anti-racism initiative by the Spanish league, the Spanish soccer organization, and the government. Both clubs' players donned armbands with anti-racism inscriptions on them. During the game's national and international broadcasts, anti-racism messages were shown.
Vincius was not able to play due of what the team described as a minor knee injury on Sunday, when he was the victim of yet another incident of racist abuse.
Vincius was given a red card for fighting during Sunday's game against Valencia, but the punishment was subsequently revoked.
After the last hectic days, coach Carlo Ancelotti had said that he thought about giving Vinicius some downtime regardless of the penalty.
Both the men's and women's basketball teams from Madrid wore No. 20 jerseys for their games on Wednesday.
Following the racist insults thrown against Vincius in a league game, Valencia said earlier on Wednesday that it will challenge the partial closure of its stadium, claiming that the penalty is “unfair and disproportionate.”
Valencia received the worst penalty ever for a club in a case of racism in Spain when the competition committee of Spanish soccer fined Valencia 45,000 euros ($48,500) and shut off a portion of Mestalla Stadium for five games on Tuesday night.
Since Vincius first came to Spain to play five years ago, he has received several racist slurs. After the most recent incident against him, the 22-year-old Brazilian striker harshly denounced Spain and its failure to take action against racism.
Valencia released a statement saying, “Valencia wishes to express its entire dissatisfaction and anger over the unjust and excessive punishment imposed by the competition commission. “Valencia wants to openly protest the fact that the committee's evidence conflicts with what the police and La Liga have to say. This punishment is based on information that the club has not had access to.
Valencia also argued that it should have had an opportunity to speak out before the decision. The club claimed that from the beginning, it had been assisting the authorities. Valencia promised to collaborate with law enforcement to find the culprits shortly after the game, and a day later it banned one player for life.
Police made three arrests with the help of the club on suspicion of a hate crime for allegedly abusing the Brazilian Sunday, and all three were given lifetime stadium bans. The club said it was the worst penalty it could administer.
“To punish fans who were not involved in these lamentable incidents is a measure completely disproportionate, unfair, and unprecedented,” Valencia said. “We will fight against it until the very end.”
The three individuals were released while the investigation against them is ongoing after they cooperated with authorities. After being suspected of hanging a Vincius effigy from a highway bridge in January, four further individuals were taken into custody in Madrid. They are anticipated to give testimony in front of the court, who will then choose whether to move the case further.
Vincius's attackers had previously received fines and bans, but no one has ever faced criminal prosecution for racist abuse of a footballer in Spain up to this point.
In 2007, Spain passed a particular legislation outlawing violence, racism, xenophobia, and intolerance in sports. Since then, a commission against violence made up of several organizations has been in charge of keeping watch over any violations of the law.
However, according to the legislation, only those instances of racism that have a second factor that negatively affects the victim are subject to criminal prosecution. Most incidents, including those that are comparable to the ones involving the Valencian supporters, end up falling into a category where the only sanctions are fines and stadium bans.
Valencia still has one home match remaining in the league this year, taking on Espanyol on Sunday as it attempts to avoid dropping to the second level. Also attempting to avoid being demoted is Espanyol.
The area of Mestalla that will be shut down is the area behind one of the goals where the slurs directed towards Vinicius originated. Additionally, that's where the club's die-hard supporters often congregate.