Brazil forward Vinicius Jr stepped up the fight against racism on Monday by launching a campaign under the slogan “Racism, don’t pretend you don’t see it” on billboards across the country for Black Awareness Day.
The Real Madrid player, who has been racially abused regularly in LaLiga games, received the Socrates Award last month for starting a foundation that is building schools in Brazil in impoverished areas and investing in education.
Alongside the campaign he has also launched through his foundation the “Anti-Racism Education Handbook”, which aims to help schools make the educational environment more inclusive and avoid stereotypes that foster prejudice.
The 23-year-old winger, who will head a special FIFA anti-racism committee, has advocated harsher punishments for discriminatory behaviour in football, prompting the Rio de Janeiro government to name a law after him that will see sporting events stopped or suspended for racist conduct.
Vinicius Jr has begun treatment in Spain for the hamstring and tendon injury he suffered during Brazil’s 2-1 defeat by Colombia in its World Cup qualifier last week, which has ruled him out of Tuesday’s game against Argentina.