Thursday December 5 2019
Lukaku: 'Dumbest headline ever seen'

The fallout from the Corriere dello Sport racist headline continues, with Romelu Lukaku calling “the dumbest I have ever seen,” while Roma and Milan ban the newspaper.

This morning’s headline was ironically for an article meant to be praising the anti-racism message of Inter striker Lukaku and Roma defender Chris Smalling being the star names in Friday night’s Serie A match.

Instead, the choice of words ‘Black Friday’ set off a firestorm of protest and condemnation.

After the Corriere dello Sport editor Ivan Zazzaroni doubled down on defending the headline, Smalling released a message on social media, swiftly followed by this from Lukaku.

“Instead of focusing on a battle between two teams… Corriere dello Sport comes with the most dumbest of headlines I have ever seen in my career.

“You guys keep fuelling the negativity and the racisme issue. Instead of talking about to the beautiful game that’s going to be played at San Siro between two great clubs..

“Education is key. You guys of Corriere dello Sport should do a better job at that..

“Thanks to all the fans and other journalists to hightlights for the support and let’s all look forward to tomorrow’s game. Forza Inter.”

The situation precipitated even further this evening, as Roma and Milan released a joint statement announcing they had banned Corriere dello Sport writers from their “training facilities for the rest of the year and our players will not carry out any media activities with the newspaper during this period.

“We believe that players, clubs, supporters and the media must be united in the fight against racism in football and we all have the responsibility to be very precise in the words we choose and the messages we deliver.

“Both clubs are aware that the actual newspaper article associated with the ‘BLACK FRIDAY’ headline did portray an anti-racist message and for this reason, we have only banned Corriere dello Sport until January.

“We remain totally committed to tackling racism.”

It is probably no coincidence that the clubs at the forefront of tackling racism in Serie A - Roma, Milan and Fiorentina - are all owned by Americans.

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