Leonardo Bonucci didn’t exactly have his teammate’s back after Moise Kean was racially jeered following a goal in Juventus’ defeat of Cagliari.
Kean, who is black, scored an 85th minute goal to give the Serie A leaders a 2-0 lead.
The player was then racially abused by fans, with teammate Blaise Matuidi understandably offended and angry. And whereas Juve manager Max Allegri said fans needed to be banned for life when caught doing such things, Bonucci thinks blame lies on both side.
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His comments are stunning stuff but also not out of character with the backwards racial incidents sometimes on display in Italian football. From Football-Italia:
“Kean knows that when he scores a goal, he has to focus on celebrating with his teammates. He knows he could’ve done something differently too,” Bonucci told Sky Sport Italia.
“There were racist jeers after the goal, Blaise heard it and was angered. I think the blame is 50-50, because Moise shouldn’t have done that and the Curva should not have reacted that way.”
50-50? We have to hope something’s been lost in translation.
Allegri did say that Kean shouldn’t have provoked the fans, but said, “That, of course, does not mean the idiots in the crowd and the way they reacted should be justified.”
Now you might agree, in a sense, that Kean provoked angry comments. But this wasn’t him being called a simple profane name or shouted that he stinks; There’s no excuse for tossing racial barbs in 2019. No excuse.
Kean, for what it’s worth, is understandably not in an apologetic mood, taking a page from Raheem Sterling.
To recap: In Bonucci’s book, spreading your arms on the touch line after being booed and getting monkey chants is cause enough to hear racial slurs. Cool, cool.
Can you imagine if Gareth Southgate or one of Sterling’s white English teammates hedged in their criticism of racial attacks on Sterling over the international break? Hardly, which is a true indictment on Bonucci and also something much larger than him.
See the goal after a description of the abuse, which came after Kean was booed all night.