Rayo Vallecano forward Raul de Tomas has explained that he does not see the difference between racist insults directed towards Vinicius Junior and some of the insults that he hears on the pitch.
De Tomas, 28, is a former Real Madrid player and scored against them on Wednesday night during a 2-1 defeat, which saw the Santiago Bernabeu protest against the racism suffered by Vinicius.
Speaking to Onda Cero on Thursday night, de Toas explained that he had heard worse than what Vinicius was being told, at least in his view.
“That aggressiveness, those insults, that hatred… I don’t like it. The insult to Vinicius is shameful but it is not the only thing that is said on the field, I have heard insults of that calibre and worse.”
He explained that in his mind, the racial abuse was no worse than insults towards someone’s family.
“For me, being told ‘I s*** on your dead relatives’ is as bad as being called ‘monkey’ or ‘black’… All insults are serious and if they see them doing it in the stands, they should do as they did with the Espanyol fan.”
‘RDT’ is referencing the fact an Espanyol fan was removed from the ground after making fascist salutes towards Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodrigo de Paul on Wednesday night.
A big part of the debate over how to tackle racism in football ground has been whether players should stop matches and leave the pitch whenever an incident occurs. While admitting he didn’t know what it felt like to be racially abused, he would not take that course of action.
“I wouldn’t leave the pitch due to insults. It’s a very complicated issue and I don’t want to be misunderstood, I understand Vinicius too… If they called me a white s*** I don’t know how would I take it… that’s why I understand him.”
“But I have been strongly insulted many times… and I think that if we all leave the pitch when they insult us, every game will be stopped.”
De Tomas’ statements will be incredibly jarring for many international audiences to hear, where racism, or other discriminatory insults, are usually regarded as far worse than other forms of abuse.
Perhaps this best explains the incongruence in some of the reaction in Spain and internationally. Across the globe many have been shocked at the treatment Vinicius has received, while de Tomas feels comfortable explaining that he sees racial abuse as no different from other forms of it.
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