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Racism, Hypocrisy and Serie A



After Romelu Lukaku was horrifically racially abused on Sunday by Cagliari fans, I wanted to use the only tool I know of that could possibly impact the situation - or at least other people – writing.  But then I realized that I already have written about this problem. So many times. And nothing changes. It keeps happening. It’s like an infinite loop of racism and hypocrisy in Serie A.

Going backwards

The racism is bad enough. But even worse, fans of Lukaku’s own team are some of the worst repeat offenders, abusing opposition players at least four different times last season alone. And when they were punished for only one of those times, they were unrepentant and whined about their singular punishment the rest of the season. The hypocrisy of their reaction to their own player being abused now is disgusting. Hypocrisy doesn’t even begin to describe Inter fans.

Inter accepted punishment after abusing Koulibaly, but their fans were shockingly defiant

But at the bottom of the pile of racism and hypocrisy lies the fetid, corrupt and completely out of touch Lega Seria A. Not only do they not do anything about racism, they punish the players who have been abused. The list of things that is more important to Serie A than taking appropriate actions against racism includes:
• designing a new logo that looks like it is from the 1960’s
• fighting piracy (although ensuring legal access to Serie A is still a century or more away)
• creating a Twitter account for English speaking fans in the year 2019 that is barely used
• ensuring that all of the team captains wear uniform armbands in Serie A
• making sure players wear lipstick on their cheeks once a year (even though Italy still has horrific domestic violence and homicide rates of women)
• commissioning and playing an anthem ahead of each match that is written in Italian, English, and Latin that discourages players from cheating or matchfixing (clearly, that’s working.)
I could go on, but honestly, it boggles the mind how far removed from reality Serie A are, and how unwilling they are to address the actual problems that impact the league. It’s as though they literally don’t care about what people think of the league or whether or not anyone watches.

Good thing that all of the captain's armbands are uniform, meanwhile racism is thriving

Serie A complains about piracy and dwindling stadium attendance, but who wants to come see a match where fans are serially and consistently allowed to racially abuse players? It happens over and over again, with little to no punishment for the perpetrators. And when the perpetrators see their players abused… well we’ll see if the league does anything about that soon enough. But I’m not holding my breath. The racism, hypocrisy, and lack of action of Serie A are enough to make a person vomit… over and over and over again.

Forget punishing the abusers. Why not punish the victims instead? #SerieALogic


For more in depth reading about racism, here a few of the other times I’ve written about the exact same kinds of events. Only the names and dates change, it’s really atrocious.

March 2013: “The Trouble with Racism
Recapping the match Milan played vs. Pro Patria in which Ambrosini led the team off the pitch as a protest of racist chants, but nothing changed.

June 2013: “Dear FIFA
I outlined my not-so-politically correct ideas for an Extreme Anti-Racism Campaign. In hindsight, maybe they weren’t such bad ideas.

October 2014: “Oh, Italy…
Tavecchio’s campaign for president of the FIGC was marred when he made a racial slur. UEFA said it was wrong and doled out a punishment, but the FIGC had no problems with it. And he was elected. Disgusting.

May 2017: “Racism in Calcio
Former Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari was racially abused by Cagliari fans, and then was punished by the league for taking a stand, and his own coach threw him under the bus. Sound familiar? Only the names and dates change.

May 2018: “What the Hell, Italy?
In a collection of rants about a lot of different kinds of abuse in Italy, there is a section about when Inter fans abused Matuidi. They were never punished, because Serie A requires a bizarre need for “data” and a “certain percentage of fans participating” to punish teams.

May 2019: “Racism Wins Again
Recounting the incidents of last year when both Bakayoko and Kessie were repeatedly racially abused by both Inter and Lazio. And to date, there is no actual punishment.


This post inspired by the music of Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff”