Rodrygo Faces Racism Amid Brazil's Third Loss After Messi Clash
|Rodrygo of Brazil controls the ball against Rodrigo De Paul of Argentina during a FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier match between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana Stadium on November 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil(Image-Getty)
Brazilian striker Rodrygo revealed that he encountered racist messages on his social media accounts subsequent to a disagreement with Argentina's captain, Lionel Messi, ahead of their World Cup qualifier on Tuesday. The 1-0 defeat suffered by Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, marking their third consecutive loss as five-time world champions, was further marred by disturbances at the Maracana stadium, where clashes between police and visiting fans led to a half-hour match delay.
Messi, who accused local law enforcement of brutality, engaged in a heated exchange with Brazil's captain, Marquinhos, and exchanged words with Rodrygo. The latter disclosed that he received numerous racially offensive messages, including emojis depicting monkeys and bananas.
Taking to Instagram, Rodrygo expressed his frustration, stating, "Racists are always on duty. My social networks were invaded with insults and all sorts of nonsense." He emphasized the persistent nature of racial abuse, addressing the challenges faced when individuals deviate from expectations set by those promoting racist ideologies. "If we don't do what they want, if we don't behave as they think we should... the racists will act out their criminal behavior," he declared defiantly.
Echoing Rodrygo's sentiments, Brazil forward Vinicius Jr., who missed the Argentina game due to injury, voiced his support on social media platforms. "We will not stop," he asserted on both Instagram and Twitter, now known as X. The players are taking a stand against racism and affirming their resilience in the face of such adversity.