Cameroon and LaLiga icon tells Vinicius to remain silent in battle against racism

Vinicius Junior has been the victim of racial abuse several times in LaLiga | Imago

Cameroon and LaLiga icon tells Vinicius to remain silent in battle against racism

Ayoola Kelechi 22:04 - 19.11.2023

The former LaLiga star and AFCON winner insists that Vinicius would not suffer so much abuse if he had a better attitude

Former Cameroon and Espanyol goalkeeper Carlos Kameni has given Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior titbits about how to handle the racist abuse he has faced in LaLiga asking the Brazilian star to remain silent. 

Kameni gives his two cents on racism in LaLiga

Kameni, who played in LaLiga for 13 years between Espanyol and Malaga, experienced some incidents during his playing days as well and insisted that Vinicius had been going about his fight against racism the wrong way. 

Speaking to Relevo about the prevalence of racism in LaLiga, especially as witnessed by incidents involving Vinicius Junior, Kameni said, “I don’t want to disrespect anyone or be misunderstood, because no matter how much we are children of the same father or mother, we all have a different way of reacting to the same problem. 

“I wouldn’t take it the same way. I feel very loved where I have gone, I have even experienced that [racism] in some fields that now applaud me. Returning a shout or insult is getting into their game, putting yourself at their level… Many times silence is the best way to respond, and you have to consider that the player has a playing style that can be interpreted as provocation.”

The former Cameroon international and 2002 AFCON champion further explained the benefits of remaining composed during altercations, saying, “It’s not that you have to change your way of playing, but your physical attitude or reaction does greatly influence how things go more or less. 

"For example, if the same Valencia fan shouts at me and I answer him, insulting him, that ends differently. I think taking a calmer and more polite tone with them is the key.”

Kameni advocates for better attitude from Real Madrid’s Vinicius

The former Espanyol icon noted that Vinicus’ attitude might have played some part in his ongoing struggles with racism in LaLiga, saying, “If he had a different attitude, I think a little bit yes, that’s why when you talk to people about Vinicius, they tell you that he is provocative. There you see that it is more because of his attitude than anything else, because there are many black players in the league who do not suffer from it every weekend.”

Kameni, however, explained that asking Vinicius to remain silent did not mean he was asking for the Brazilian to accept the treatment from fans, but asked the Los Blancos favourite to emulate other LaLiga stars by taking a calmer demeanour. 

The Cameroonian icon concluded, “Many times when there is a problem, not fighting does not mean that you are not right. Silence solves many things. They yell at you and you continue doing your thing. I have seen footballers like Iniesta, anyone who kicked him, he stood up looking at you as if to say ‘what have I done to you to deserve this?’ You are not going to go in the same way next time. 

But if he gets up and does so [reacts] like that, it makes you want to hit him even more, even though you know you made a mistake.”

Vinicius has a few months to mull over Kameni’s words considering his recent injury, which will keep him out until February next year. 

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