AC Milan and AS Roma took an important stand against Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport after the publication released an incredibly racially insensitive headline previewing the weekend fixture between Inter Milan and Roma. The headline in the newspaper that has since been defended by the paper's Editor featured photos of Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling with the title 'Black Friday.’ The title was distasteful and had racial undertones as noted by numerous followers of Italian football online.
Ivan Zazzaroni - the editor - defended the title and article saying “‘Black Friday’, for those who want and can understand it, was and is only the praise of difference, the pride of difference, the magnificent wealth of difference.”
”If you don’t understand it, it’s because you can’t do it or because you’re pretending you can’t do it.
”An innocent title, actually perfectly argued by Roberto Perrone, is transformed into poison by those who have poison inside themselves.”
As reported by AC Milan News, the two clubs will ban the newspaper from their training facilities and will not carry out any media activities with them until January. The ban will not be longer as the content of the article attempted to discuss the issues of racism however the title was terribly chosen. AC Milan has been at the forefront of a number of initiatives and calls to battle racism in Italy and Italian football and deserve to be applauded for their efforts.