Racism in Football

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Video shows Lazio fans’ racist chants aimed at Chelsea loanee Bakayoko

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ROME (AP) A video has emerged of Lazio fans directing a racist chant at AC Milan midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.

The video posted on the Gazzetta dello Sport website shows fans singing, “This banana is for Bakayoko,” during Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Udinese at the Stadio Olimpico.

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It was an apparent response to Bakayoko and Milan teammate Franck Kessie waving the shirt of Lazio defender Francesco Acerbi in front of their supporters like a trophy after a 1-0 win on Saturday.

Bakayoko, who is black, is on loan from Chelsea.

Lazio fans have a long history of racist and anti-Semitic episodes.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Arsenal, Aubameyang speak out on racism as Koulibaly video emerges

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Arsenal is condemning the culprits and investigating a video showing a fan shouting racist obscenities at star Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

“We utterly condemn use of this type of racist language,” Arsenal said in a statement. “We operate a zero-tolerance approach and anyone behaving like this is not welcome at Arsenal and will be banned from matches. We have an extremely diverse community of fans who are all part of the Arsenal family and such incidents are rare at the Emirates Stadium. We encourage supporters to report any incidents as they happen to stewards or via our matchday alert service.”

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The incident occurred in Arsenal’s 2-0 first leg defeat of Napoli in the Europa League quarterfinals on Thursday, and comes on the heels of incidents involving big name clubs and players around Europe.

And increased reports and videos from around the grounds of England will appear like an open wound but are actually a sign of progress that fans and onlookers are no longer standing idly by and instead have found an avenue to expose such vile behavior.

After the match Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admitted that racism in England has reared its head against him prior to Thursday. From Arsenal.com:

“I am really disappointed about that. I had the same problem here against Tottenham. When you are black like me it is really painful, I think, because we are in 2019 and obviously it is not good for football in England. Hopefully we will find a way to kick it out.”

Fan arrested after American player Holmes racially-abused in England

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A man has been arrested for racially abusing American midfielder Duane Holmes during a Football League Championship match on Sunday.

The incident occurs as a high-profile time for racism in soccer, which has seen Moise Kean and Raheem Sterling racially abused during matches in recent weeks.

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Holmes, 24, is having a terrific year for Frank Lampard at Derby County following his arrival from Scunthorpe United. The diminutive right midfielder, who also plays centrally, is starting regularly and had a goal and an assist last week against Rotherham United.

Saturday at Brentford was a different story, as Holmes was targeted by a Bees season ticket holder after subbing off the pitch.

Here’s Derby manager Frank Lampard, from the BBC:

“Duane Holmes complained that he was racially abused – I didn’t see it, I was facing play and a fan came up to him at the side of the dugout and abused him,” he told Sky Sports.

“Because it’s such an important issue I don’t want to go beyond what I know, but it was very clearly reported by the players and the people around.”

The arrest shows that Lampard’s comments were backed by authorities.

Holmes, for his part, retweeted a supporter’s message backing “Kick It Out,” which aims to eradicate racism from the game.

Juve’s Bonucci condemns racism following widespread criticism

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Leonardo Bonucci has been widely criticized by the media and his peers for his post-match reaction to the racial abuse hurled at Juventus teammate Moise Kean on Tuesday.

The 19-year-old Kean had been booed and heard monkey noises chanted at him during Juve’s 2-0 win over Cagliari, including a number of jeers after he scored the second goal and spread his arms wide to the crowd.

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Bonucci claimed the blame was “50-50” between Kean and the fans, saying the player provoked the angry reactions. Most of the world said that racism is never okay, even if provoked, and Bonucci now claims he was misunderstood after the heat of a 90-minute match.

A senior leader on the team, Bonucci’s needed 24 hours to back his teammate on Instagram.

“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. 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.”

There’s something to the “I wasn’t thinking straight” and Bonucci did not have a catalog of bad actions prior to his “50-50” comments, so his straight-up condemnation of racism is a good start (though an “I’m sorry” would’ve been nice).

Allegri asks for lifetime bans after Kean racially abused

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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.

 

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The best way to respond to racism 🦍 #notoracism 🚫

A post shared by K M B 9 🦍 (@moise_kean) on

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.