Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Taison left the pitch in tears after he was sent off for responding to racist abuse from Dynamo Kiev fans during the team’s encounter on Sunday.
The Brazilian, 31, picked up the ball and kicked it into the stands at Dynamo fans after an incident in the second half in response to apparent racist chants.
He also gave supporters the middle finger, while referee Mykola Balakinwas temporarily ordered players off the pitch. Taison was seen in tears as he was consoled by teammates and Dynamo Kiev players while Dentinho, a fellow Brazilian, was also seen crying.
However, when the players returned Taison was incredulous after being handed a red card over his outburst.
The scenes have been widely condemned, and Taison later took to social media to state his tears were ones of “indignation.”
“I will never shut up in such an inhuman and despicable act,” he wrote on Instagram.
“My tears were of indignation, repudiation and helplessness, helplessness that I could do nothing at that moment! But we are taught early on to be strong and to fight! Fight for our rights and for equality!”
“My role is to fight, to beat my chest, to lift my head and keep fighting always,” he added.
“In a racist society, it is not enough not to be racist, we must be anti-racist! Football needs more respect, the world needs more respect!”
Dynamo issued a statement saying the club “categorically oppose any manifestations and forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and any related intolerance.”
Shakhtar, meanwhile, said they would “always voice the support and protect our players.”
The game at Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv ended 1-0 to Shakhtar, who extended their lead at the top of the Ukrainian Premier League table to 12 points.
The scenes follow a similar incident in Italy, where Brescia and Italian international forward Mario Balotelli kicked the ball into the crowd at a game against Hellas Verona after having monkey chants directed at him.