Real Madrid have condemned racist comments made about their Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior by a leading Spanish football agent and threatened legal action against anyone who voices similar remarks.
While appearing as a panellist on a Spanish soccer show on Friday, Pedro Bravo said Vinicius was not respecting his opponents with his celebrations, comparing his behaviour to that of a monkey -- which immediately sparked backlash on social media.
"Real Madrid CF rejects all kinds of racist and xenophobic expressions and behaviors in the field of football, sport and life in general, such as the regrettable and unfortunate comments made in recent hours against our player Vinicius Junior," Real Madrid said in a statement.
"Real Madrid wants to show all its love and support for Vinicius Junior, a player who understands football as an attitude towards life based on joy, respect and sportsmanship.
"Football, which is the most global sport that exists, must be an example of values ??and coexistence. The club has instructed its legal services to take legal action against anyone who uses racist expressions towards our players."
Bravo, who is the president of the Association of Spanish Agents, later took to Twitter to issue a clarification, saying he used the "monkey" expression to say Vinicius was "doing stupid things".
"I want to clarify that the expression 'playing the monkey' that I have misused to qualify Vinicius' goal celebration dance was done metaphorically," he said.
"Since my intention was not to offend anyone, I sincerely apologize. I am sorry!"
But his comments were also condemned by Brazilian great Pele and the Brazil Football Federation, who came out in defense of Vinicius.