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Friday, December 6, 2019

Newspaper Promoted “Black Friday” Soccer Game With Photos of Two Black Players

Controversial Black Friday headline about Black soccer players

Nationwide — An Italian newspaper called the Corriere dello Sport is under fire for using the headline “Black Friday” alongside the photos of Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling, two professional soccer players of African descent. The headline and photos were used to promote an upcoming match between their teams.

Lukaku and Smalling, who previously played together at Manchester United from 2017 to 2019, will be playing against each other for the first time since they left Manchester.

The newspaper article then went on to say that the two would be the “battle inside tomorrow’s big game” and that they had “taken strong stances against racism.”

Although the article seemed not to have bad intentions, several people including the Italian media, organizations, as well as the two teams found their choice of headline offensive, especially when there have been a lot of incidents of racism happening in recent weeks.

The AS Roma team, where Smalling plays as center-back, said the headline was “terrible” and that it “totally overshadowed the anti-racist message contained within the story.” The Inter Milan team, where Lukaku plays as striker, said it was and “always will be opposed to any form of discrimination.”

The Fare Network, an anti-discrimination organization, wrote on Twitter, “The media fuels racism every day.”

Journalist Matteo Bonetti was also disappointed, tweeting, “Tone deaf, ignorant & with the usual racial undertones. Saying I’m shocked would be a lie at this point. Absolute embarrassment from [them] to come up with this title for Friday’s clash between Inter and Roma.”