Serie A clubs Inter and Roma have both condemned the ‘Black Friday’ headline used by newspaper Corriere dello Sport ahead of the game between the two teams on Friday night.
The headline is accompanied by pictures of Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling and was met with immediate criticism upon its release.
While the two sides have issued statements criticising the publication, Corriere dello Sport defended the headline, taking aim at ‘casual moralists’ in response.
“The intention of the newspaper article was actually positive,” Roma’s chief strategy officer Paul Rogers said, as quoted by BBC Sport.
In response, Corriere dello Sport argued:
“The mental rabble of those casual moralists. ‘Black Friday’, for those who want and can understand it, it was only a way to celebrate diversity.
“If you don’t understand, it is because you can’t or you don’t want to understand.”
The article is actually about the upcoming clash between Lukaku and Smalling on Friday, with that single battle thought to be of importance.
While Corriere may argue readers should not leap to condemn them, racism in football has come to the fore over the past year or so – with a number of incidents occurring in Italy – and the headline has rightly been received poorly.
Fellow Serie A giants Milan have also weighed in, stating: “