Barcelona on Wednesday condemned the racist abuse suffered by Nigerian player James Nnaji during their Spanish basketball championship final victory over bitter rivals Real Madrid.
The incident comes as Spanish sport wrestles with the global outcry sparked by racism aimed at Real’s Brazilian football star Vinicius Jr.
“FC Barcelona strongly condemns the racist insults suffered by first-team basketball player James Nnaji before game three of the final,” Barcelona said in a statement.
“The club expects a firm response from the ACB (Spanish basketball league) against any racial or verbal insults.”
Images of the arrival of the FC Barcelona bus at the WiZink centre in Madrid, where Tuesday’s match took place, showed several Madrid fans hurling insults at the Barcelona players.
According to local media, Nnaji was the target of racist insults.
“I want to talk about what happened here with James Nnaji, I think it’s regrettable. I hear a lot about Vinicius and now it’s us who have to talk about what’s going on,” said Barcelona basketball coach Sarunas Jasikevicius.
“It has to stop now. It doesn’t fit, I guess, with the values of Real Madrid and its supporters, and we have to be very angry about that.”
Barcelona beat Real Madrid 93-82 on Tuesday after winning the first two games of the final for the club’s 20th Spanish league title.