The Rio de Janeiro government has named an anti-racism law after Vinícius Jr, honouring him in a ceremony at the Maracana stadium.
The ‘Vini Jr Law’ was unanimously approved by the government in June, and it will see sporting events stopped or suspended in the event of racism. The law was inspired by the Real Madrid player’s response to the racial abuse he has received while in Spain, particularly the match against Valencia in May that was stopped following racist chants.
The law includes new protocol on how to report and process racism complaints, as well as mandatory educational campaigns.
At the ceremony, Vini Jr said: “Today is a very special day and I hope my family is very proud. I am very young and I didn’t expect that I would be receiving this tribute.”
In addition to the law, the 22-year-old received awards from Rio’s legislative assembly and his footprints were added to the stadium’s walk of fame, alongside the likes of Pelé and Ronaldo.
Racism is a persistent issue in football, particularly in the stands. FIFA recently tapped Vini Jr to lead an anti-racism committee made up of players in an effort to stop the repeated racist actions that players and fans are subjected to. The passing of this law, though it’s only a state-wide legislation, sets a standard for other governments to follow suit, not only in Brazil but worldwide.