Lights go out on Christ the Redeemer as Brazil support Vinicius Jr
razil on Monday turned the lights off on Christ the Redeemer in a display of solidarity with Vinicius Jr as the country condemned the “racist attacks” on the Real Madrid forward.
Rio de Janeiro’s iconic statue went dark for an hour on Monday evening following 24 hours which saw most of the football world come together in support of the national hero following another incident of racist abuse during a LaLiga game.
The Brazil FA, the Observatory of Racial Discrimination in Football and the Archdiocesan Sanctuary, which manages the monument, carried out the act.
“The Christ the Redeemer Archdiocesan Sanctuary repudiates the racist attacks suffered by the Brazilian player Vinicius Junior,” the body said in an Instagram post.
“The lighting of the monument will be switched off as a symbol of the collective fight against racism and in solidarity with the player and all those who suffer prejudice around the world.”
Earlier on Monday, the Brazilian government called on Spanish and sports authorities earlier to punish those responsible for the “racist attacks” against the player, while the president of soccer’s governing body FIFA Gianni Infantino expressed his solidarity.
Other sporting figures such as Kylian Mbappe, Rio Ferdinand, and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton also voiced their support for Vinicius Jr.
The 22-year-old Brazil international later posted a picture 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 this just now. An action of solidarity that moved me. But I want, above all, to inspire and bring more light to our struggle,” he wrote.
Spanish Football Federation head Luis Rubiales admitted there was a real problem of racism in the country’s football where “press releases don’t work anymore”.
Additional reporting by Press Association.