19-year-old Juventus footballer Moise Kean was subjected to unabated racist abuse and monkey chants by a section of home fans of Cagliari when the two teams faced each other on Tuesday.
Born in Italy to Ivorian parents, Kean, who also plays for the Italian national football team had the last laugh in their 2-0 victory after he scored late in the game and celebrated in front of the home fans with his arms stretched as response to the abuse he was receiving from them.
His goal celebration, however, did not go down well with his coach, Massimiliano Allegri and teammate, Leonardo Bonucci, who suggested he was
“He shouldn’t have celebrated in that manner,” Allegri said, according to Sky Sports. “You need great intelligence to deal with these situations and should not go to provoke people. That, of course, does not mean the idiots in the crowd and the way they reacted should be justified.”
Bonucci, in a post-match interview, said: “There were racist jeers after the goal, Blaise [Matuidi] heard it and was angered. I think the blame is 50-50, because Moise shouldn’t have celebrated like that, and the Curva (stand) should not have reacted that way.”
“We are professionals, we have to set the example and not provoke anyone.”
Bonucci and Allegri’s attempt at apportioning part of the blame on Kean for his response to the incident was met with heavy criticism from some footballers as well as a section of social media users.
“For me it’s a disgrace. You can’t do that,” said Ivorian footballer Yaya Toure, who was at UEFA’s Equal Game conference of Wednesday, reports Sky Sports.
“It was unbelievable. A team-mate, a manager saying: ‘You shouldn’t have done that’ to one of your own players.
“I think it’s the worst scenario you can have in football. Your team-mate attacking you, saying things like that, is just unbelievable. I can’t imagine how hurt he was when he saw that.”
Fellow Italian footballer, Mario Balotelli, whose parents are Ghanaians and has been victim to such incidents on the field also called out Bonucci in a comment on Kean’s Instagram post.
“Bravo! And to Bonucci, he’s lucky I wasn’t there. Instead of defending you, he does this? I am shocked,” he wrote.
Following the backlash, Bonucci shared an Instagram post trying to clarify and backtrack on what he said.
“After 24 hours I want to clarify my feelings. Yesterday I was interviewed right at the end of the game, and my words have been clearly misunderstood, probably because I was too hasty in the way I expressed my thoughts,” he wrote.
“Hours and years wouldn’t be enough to talk about this topic. I firmly condemn all forms of racism and discrimination. The abuses are not acceptable at all and this must not be misunderstood.”
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