Bonucci Backtracks After Footballers Lash Out Over His ‘Unbelievable’ Remarks on Moise Kean
Leonardo Bonucci had said after Cagliari vs Juventus that his teammate Moise Kean was to be partly blamed for being racially abused by home fans.
Leonardo Bonucci said the racist abuses thrown at Moise Kean "are not acceptable at all". (Photo Credit: Leonardo Bonucci)
He responded to the severe criticism after more than 24 hours, claiming that his earlier statement had been misunderstood and that he was firmly against “racism and discrimination”.
“Yesterday (Tuesday), I was interviewed right at the end of the game, and my words have been clearly misunderstood, probably because I was too hasty in the way I expressed my thoughts.”
“Hours and years wouldn’t be enough to talk about this topic. I firmly condemn all forms of racism and discrimination. The abuses are not acceptable at all and this must not be misunderstood.”
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Dopo 24 ore desidero chiarire il mio pensiero. Ieri sera ho parlato alla fine della partita e mi sono espresso in modo evidentemente troppo sbrigativo, che è stato male interpretato su un argomento per il quale non basterebbero ore e per il quale si lotta da anni. Condanno ogni forma di razzismo e discriminazione. Certi atteggiamenti sono sempre ingiustificabili e su questo non ci possono essere fraintendimenti. // After 24 hours I want to clarify my feelings. Yesterday I was interviewed right at the end of the game, and my words have been clearly misunderstood, probably because I was too hasty in the way I expressed my thoughts. Hours and years wouldn't be enough to talk about this topic. I firmly condemn all forms of racism and discrimination. The abuses are not acceptable at all and this must not be misunderstood.
Before his clarification, the centre-back had posted a couple of pictures on Wednesday from the match between Cagliari and Juventus, captioning it, “Happy to have celebrated with a goal, the 250th game in Serie A with the shirt of Juve, the race continues!”
On Tuesday, Cagliari fans had racially abusing Kean and his teammate Blaise Matuidi and when Kean scored in the 85th minute, he stood in front of the home fans with his hands spread as a response to their abuse.
However, Bonucci had said after the game that Kean should not have provoked the home supporters and claimed he was partly to blame.
“I think the blame is 50-50, because Moise shouldn't have done that and the Curva (Cagliari fans) should not have reacted that way,” said Bonucci.
Bonucci’s statement put off many footballers, with Raheem Sterling leading the way in social media criticism. The England international said: "All you can do now is laugh."
Kean also received backing from Mario Balotelli, an Italian player born to African parents.
“…tell Bonucci that his luck is that I wasn’t there,” Balotelli wrote on Instagram commenting on Kean’s post. “Instead of defending you, he does this? I'm shocked I swear. I love you brother!”
Former Manchester City and Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure has said that Leonardo Bonucci's comments are a disgrace and it is the worst case scenario you can have in football.
"It was unbelievable. A team-mate, a manager saying: 'You shouldn't have done that' to one of your own players. Your team-mate attacking you, saying things like that, is just unbelievable. I can't imagine how hurt he was when he saw that."
Matuidi also posted pictures with Kean and Manchester United and French midfielder Paul Pogba reposted Matuidi’s post and captioned it as, “I support every fight against racism, we’re all equal,” Pogba wrote in English. He followed that up with some Italian, “Good Italians wake up, you can’t let a small group of racists talk for you.”
Netherlands and Lyon player Memphis Depay directly addressed Bonucci on Twitter and said, “I am disappointed in your reaction… We will not be quiet!”
@bonucci_leo19 Come capitano della Juventus sono deluso nella tua reazione, il ragazzo può gioire come vuole. Il suo ruolo ed essenziale per la sua squadra e gioca con tanto orgoglio per il suo paese Italia. Dev’essere rispettato per questo.— Memphis (@Memphis) April 3, 2019
We Will not be quiet! #SayNoToRacism
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