Inter Milan released an official statement in the wake of an article posted by the Italian newspaper Corriere Dello Sport which included an offensive letter from a Bologna fan. The club was adamant to send out a clear message by enforcing a media blackout so that all outlets must ‘guarantee respect for people’.
In the letter, a fan wrote that he “enjoyed seeing the great Inter outclassed by Barcelona B [team]” who had shown Inter’s “Worn out” coach how to play football. Moreover, the journalist added a comment indicating that the aggression was justified.
This debacle came to life after Inter was knocked out of the champion’s league by finishing third in the group behind Barcelona and Dortmund.
Earlier this month, the media outlet also published a picture of Inter’s Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling of Roma with a headline “Black Friday” which was deemed offensive by the players and readers respectively and was ultimately banned by multiple Italian clubs.
Instigating hate, propaganda and fueling sensitive topics has become a norm in Italian football nowadays. It seems like Serie A’s latest campaign against racism by displaying monkeys and reiterating the evolution theory has also backfired and may have further tarnished the image of Italian football.
With great power comes great responsibility and journalism is no different. Sentiments and feelings must be respected regardless of race, sex or religion.
Inter’s brothers universally united campaign which started back in 2018 took center stage when Inter and Barcelona both stepped onto the pitch wearing special captain’s armbands. Handanovic and Rakitic wore armbands with the message “BUU – Brothers Universally United” #NoToDiscrimination”, a message against all forms of racism and discrimination.
“Football is a game to be enjoyed by everyone, and we shouldn’t accept any form of discrimination that will put our game in shame.” — Romelu Lukaku
Inter has affirmed their stance against these atrocities and does not tolerate any form of racism or discrimination.