A major Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport has been caught in a racism storm after a questionable headline this week for a preview of the Inter Milan vs AS Roma game. The front cover of the newspaper reads - ‘Black Friday’ - with Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku and his former Manchester United teammate Chris Smalling featuring alongside the headline. Fans were quick to condemn the newspaper’s headline, especially considering the mounting racial abuse being directed at players in the Serie A.
Tone deaf, ignorant & with the usual racial undertones.— Matteo Bonetti (@BonettiESPN) December 5, 2019
Saying I’m shocked would be a lie at this point.
Absolute embarrassment from @CorSport to come up with this title for Friday’s clash between Inter and Roma. pic.twitter.com/0OPOD5LZ9x
No one:— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) December 5, 2019
Not a single soul:
Corriere dello Sport headline writer: pic.twitter.com/u2xpMLV5IH
Italian journalist Matteo Bonetti was among the more prominent names condemning Corriere dello Sport's headline, with Bonetti stating that he was “shocked” at the newspaper’s choice of headline. Serie A has been a hotbed for racism in recent years. Players like Romelu Lukaku and Mario Balotelli are among the players to have been racially abused during the Serie A games. Most recently, Mario Balotelli shot the ball into the crowd and walked off the pitch while playing for Brescia against Hellas Verona. Balotelli said that he heard racist chants in the crowd, which prompted his decision to walk off the pitch. Balotelli was then escorted back onto the pitch by his teammates and also scored during the game, albeit in a losing cause. Earlier this season, monkey chants were directed at Romelu Lukaku as he proceeded to take a penalty against Cagliari. Interestingly, both Cagliari and Hellas Verona escaped serious punishment. Verona did, however, suffer a partial stadium enclosure after the incident.
Former Manchester United teammates Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku will be on opposite sides as AS Roma head to San Siro to take on Antonio Conte's Inter Milan on Serie A Matchday 15. Inter Milan have usurped Juventus' position as league leaders on the Serie A table with 37 points, one point more than Maurizio Sarri's side. Chris Smalling's AS Roma, on the other hand, are fifth on the Serie A table with 28 points.