I don’t watch a lot of soccer, primarily because I hear so much about all the racism that black players are forced to endure. In the latest example of exactly that, we’ve learned that Brescia striker Mario Balotelli was showered with monkey chants and other racial abuse while trying to do his damn job.
ESPN reports that Balotelli was on the field Sunday, minding his black ass business when this happened:
In this clip, you can actually hear the monkey chants prior to Balotelli’s reaction:
Obviously, the 29-year-old wasn’t having it. After punting the ball at his aggressors, he threatened to leave the game before cooler heads prevailed, and his teammates, as well as match officials, convinced him to stay. An announcement was made that if the racist bullshit continued, the match would be abandoned.
After the match, the former Manchester City and Liverpool striker declined to speak with reporters and instead took to Instagram to respond to the matter. His post was written in Italian, but according to Google Translate, here’s what he had to say:
“Thanks to all [my] colleagues in the field for the solidarity [you] had with me and all the messages [I] received from fans. Thank you very much,” he wrote. “You have shown that you are true men, not like those who deny the evidence.”
The “denied evidence” jab is presumably directed at Hellas Verona coach Ivan Juric, who denied hearing anything after his team beat Balotelli’s on Sunday.
“Racists make me sick, but today I didn’t hear anything,” Juric said. “I heard a lot of whistles, the classic kind. A lot of provocation, but I heard nothing racist. It’s a lie.”
Verona owner Maurizio Setti echoed Juric’s sentiments, adding, “We heard nothing at the stadium. Racism among Verona fans does not exist.”
So those monkey chants came from where?
I don’t know how Balotelli continues to play under these conditions, but it’s yet another reminder of why my sports diet consists of just about everything else but soccer.