Italian sports daily blasts ‘lynching’ over ‘Black Friday’ headline
Italian sports daily Corriere dello Sport has described the backlash over its controversial “Black Friday” headline as a “lynching”.
The front-page headline accompanied an article about the first Serie A meeting between former Manchester United teammates Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling.
“Who are you calling racist? Lynching of a newspaper that for a century has defended liberty and equality,” read the headline of Friday’s newspaper.
Inter Milan striker Lukaku and Roma defender Smalling face off at the San Siro on Friday as the northern side look to maintain top spot in Serie A.
Both players have condemned the headline which caused uproar in a country where a number of players have recently been targeted with racist abuse.
Roma’s Smalling said the front page was “wrong and highly insensitive” while Lukaku accused the paper of “fuelling negativity and racism”.
On Friday, Corriere dedicated its first three pages to the affair, with photos of their past headlines treating the subject of racism.
The newspaper said they were “the enemies of racism” and consider that their headline had been “perverted by the superficiality and bad faith of social networks and websites, quick to disguise the message”.
The Italian daily praised Lukaku and Smalling, “two extraordinary professionals”.
“For them, we are sincerely sorry, our intention was not to hurt them, but rather to showcase them, and we will continue to fight racism and ignorance,” writes Corriere.
In Italy, Lukaku, Mario Balotelli, France’s Blaise Matuidi, Ivorian Franck Kessie and Senegal’s Kalidou Koulibaly have all been regularly targeted with insults and racist chants in recent seasons…….read more