Vinicius Jr and all Brazil players wore black jerseys to pass an anti-racism message following a racial row involving the Real Madrid star late in the 2022/23 football season.
In a symbolic move, all the players wore black shirts and shorts in the international friendly against Guinea in Barcelona.
Brazil are known with their iconic bright yellow shirt but the Selecao jettisoned the original wear and put on back jerseys.
The message of the symbolic move by the team was pretty clear. Before the game, the team posed for a group photo with a message in Portuguese which reads “With racism, there is no game.”
After the group photo, the players took a knee to further reiterate their stand against racism in football.
The friendly was a sterling outing for the Selecao. They went ahead to win the game 4-1 with Vinicius Jr, the main character in the racial row, registering his name on the scoresheet after scoring from the penalty spot.
Brazil will repeat the anti-racism campaign in their next game against African giants, Senegal, in Lisbon Portugal.
Brazil national team players were on the frontline of professional players who condemned all the various incidents of racist abuse on Vinicius Jr with the likes of Neymar, Richarlison, Guimaraes, Gabriel Jesus expressing their solidarity with the player.
Towards the end of the 2022/23 La Liga season, Vinicius Jr was embroiled in bitter racism row with Valencia fans.
The Brazil international suffered racist chants by a section of Valencia fans at the Mestalla stadium. The game had to be paused as Vinicius Jr attempted a reprisal on one of the erring Valencia fans.
Tensions simmered from the stands to the pitch with Vinicius Jr bagging the first red card of his career after he clashed with a Valencia player.
After the game, Vinicius Jr took to his social media handle to blast La Liga and Spain for not taking action against racists.
Meanwhile, there were calls from pundits, professional footballers, fans, including FIFA President Gianni Infantino for La Liga to stop talking and start acting.
According to reports, La Liga were bereft of powers to handle cases of racism due to the structure of Spain legal system. However, relevant authorities were able to arrest some erring fans after the incident.
Real Madrid reassured Vinicius Jr of the club’s support and solidarity. They filed a complaint to the office of the Attorney General in Spain, indicting the erring fans.
The Mestalla incident was not the first time, the Real Madrid youngster had come under racist attack in Spain.
In September, President of Spanish Football Agents, Pedro Bravo, said Vinicius Jr should stop playing monkey with his ‘dancing goal celebration’.
After the attack by Valencia fans, Vinicius Jr compiled other cases of racist abuse and attacks and challenged La Liga and Spanish authorities to take action.
The incident at the Mestalla stadium after the aftermath was a wake up call on the need to take action against racism.
Marca reports FIFA have revived FIFA taskfoce on racism aimed at identifying and addressing cases of racism among member associations with Vinicius Jr agreeing to join the team.