Italian forward Moise Kean was subjected to a gruesome act of racist abuse when Juventus visited Cagliari in their Serie A game on Tuesday.
The 19-year old, Moise Kean was mocked throughout the game with monkey chants from the home supporters, and bravely spread his arms wide in celebration when he scored Juventus’ second goal. Fellow teammate and Frenchman Blaise Matuidi was on the receiving end of the racist chants from the Cagliari fans along with Moise Kean.
The football fraternity has united in support of Moise Kean, led by Raheem Sterling, Mario Balotelli and Memphis Depay among others. The trio of footballers have come forward and defended Kean’s celebration, whilst also condemning Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci’s, the other goal scorer, comments, who stated that Moise Kean “could’ve behaved differently”.
Sterling himself has been been attacked with racial jeers and abuse during games recently. The Manchester City winger faced it at Stamford Bridge, and most recently in Montenegro when the 24-year old was in action for England during their Euro 2020 qualifier.
Mario Balotelli has also been severely ill-treated on football pitches throughout his career. He was one of the first players to express his displeasure towards Bonucci’s mindless post-match comments that Moise Kean was “50-50 to blame” for the racist abuse which was hurled at him.
“Tell Bonucci he’s lucky I wasn’t there”, the Marseille striker commented on Moise Kean’s Instagram post. “Instead of defending you, he does that? I’m truly shocked”, he added.
Sterling, too, called out Bonucci in his tweet, putting laughing emojis in front of the centre-back’s comments. His tweet sparked a wave on social media, with the footballing community expressing their anger and frustration towards continued racist abuse.
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) April 3, 2019
Lyon’s Dutch forward Memphis Depay also showcased his disappointment about the fact that football still has to tackle something as racism in today’s day and age.
— Memphis (@Memphis) April 3, 2019
Former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure was also not shy in expressing his thoughts on the shameful act at Cagliari against Moise Kean.
It was important for me to ask the question everyone wants to know!!!
Talking is part of the process but means very little if there is no action or change!
Let’s change the situation!! I stand with you Moise Kean!!! ?? https://t.co/GMNVUQdF1X
— Yaya Touré (@YayaToure) April 3, 2019
The Italian FA has also come under heavy scrutiny as anti-racism agency Kick It Out highlighted that this is the third year in a row when football players have been racially targeted at Cagliari. The Italian FA are allowing fans to do so each year without taking necessary action.
Racism has no doubt plagued the beautiful game, and it does not look like enough is being done to help eliminate this epidemic. Anti-racism campaigns like #KickItOut and #NoRoomForRacism in the Premier League have emerged lately, and are trying their level-best to tackle these outrageous acts of racist abuse.
Many have claimed that teams should walk off the pitch, or the referees should stop matches in order to tackle situations like these. By the looks of it, a big step needs to be taken to make a statement across the footballing world. Football will only be a safer place once racism is completely eliminated, and its wrongdoers severely punished.