Roma And AC Milan Ban Paper After Racist Headline

Tanya Simon
December 5, 2019

Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling on Thursday slammed a renowned Italian sports daily as "dumb" and "insensitive" after it used "Black Friday" in a front-page headline about them meeting for the first time in Serie A.

The headline and accompanying text reads: "BLACK FRIDAY".

Lukaku and Smalling have both taken Serie A by storm since arriving in the summer, with the Belgian striker bagging 10 goals in 14 appearances for title hopefuls Inter and England worldwide Smalling becoming an instant fan favourite in the Italian capital. "We need to be more aware when we talk about issues related to racism - we need to be more considerate", Roma manager Paulo Fonseca said in a pre-match news conference Thursday's.

There has, however, been widespread condemnation at what is seen as an insensitive choice of words, particularly as it comes at a time when the Italian authorities have been accused of not taking the issue of racism seriously enough following a string of incidents in recent months.

"Being an agent, we are trying to protect our clients from this huge problem, because it's not only a newspaper but it's a problem you can breathe in the stadium, in social media, on the street". "Black Friday", for those who want and can understand it, it was only a way to celebrate diversity. If you don't understand it, it's because you can't do that. "An innocent title, actually perfectly argued by Roberto Perrone (the article's writer), is transformed into venom by those who have venom inside themselves".

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"In response to the "Black Friday" headline published by the newspaper, Roma and Milan have chose to ban Corriere dello Sport from our training facilities for the rest of the year and our players will not carry out any media activities with the newspaper during this period".

Inter Milan said "football is passion, culture and brotherhood. We are and always will be opposed to any form of discrimination".

Lukaku and Brescia forward Mario Balotelli are among those to make allegations of being racially abused by supporters during Serie A games this season.

AS Roma and Inter's cross-town rivals AC Milan have both announced that they will not work with Corriere dello Sport until January.

"Players know we are there and there is a players' union in Italy and they also now need to speak out and be more forceful in things they are saying".

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