Balotelli leaves pitch after racial abuse, later scores at same end

Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Don’t let the fact that Mario Balotelli scored a beautiful goal in front of the fans who racially abused him distract from another ugly incident in Serie A.

Balotelli left the pitch after hearing racial abuse from Hellas Verona fans in a 2-1 loss on Sunday. According to Football-Italia, this is not the first time the Hellas Verona fans have been a part of such an incident.

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The Brescia man was victimized at the Stadio Bentegodi, and kicked the ball into the stands before eventually returning to the match after his teammates intervened.

During this spell, the match was halted and an announcement was made inside the stadium as a warning to fans according to UEFA’s protocol for racial abuse.

Balotelli scored a magnificent goal after returning to the pitch, but it feels too casual to note it as a just dessert or last laugh; It’s embarrassing that the pervasive cries for better treatment of minorities hasn’t been heard by all; It’s one thing for bad seeds to continue their abuse of players, another for a lack of universal support from his peers on the pitch (though certainly some did).