Juventus’ teenage striker Moise Kean was racially abused by Cagliari fans during their match on Tuesday. The 19-year sensation, born in Italy to Ivorian parents, had to endure monkey chants from a section of fans during the game that Juve won 2-0.
After scoring his team's second goal late in the match, Kean held his arms aloft in front of the home fans, which intensified the abuse.
But instead of supporting his teammate, senior player Leonardo Bonucci said after the match that Kean should not have celebrated his goal the way he did.
"I think the blame is 50-50. Moise should not have done that and the Curva [fans] should not have reacted in that way,” Bonucci told Sky Sports Italia.
He faced a lot of flak on social media for his comments.
Cagliari's supporters had made the noise described by Italian media as "buu" and is regarded as a racist insult in Italian football, although some fans argue it is simply to annoy opposing players regardless of race. Monkey noises could also be heard among the crowd.
After the goal, Matuidi was even seen protesting furiously to the referee and at one point appeared to be threatening to walk off. The play was also halted to issue a warning to the crowd. However, the play resumed amid more booing.
Yet, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri also put half the blame of the incident on Kean. "You celebrate goals with your team-mates. He could have done it differently.”
"He shouldn't have celebrated in that manner," Allegri said. "He is a young man and he has to learn, but certain things from the crowd also shouldn't be heard."
In the post-match interview though, Allegri said called the fans who abused Kean as “idiots who do stupid things and ruin it for everyone else" and said the authorities "don't really want to" tackle the problem.
Bonucci’s blame on Kean did not go down well with most and England player Raheem Sterling took to social media to call out Bonucci for his insensitivity.
Raheem Sterling strongly criticised Leonardo Bonucci for blaming Moise Kean for getting racially abused.
Apart from Sterling, social media was abuzz with people calling Bonucci “disgraceful”.
Bonucci is actually disgraceful, I can’t believe he’s come out and blamed a 19 year old for receiving racial abuse. He’s meant to be a leader and to protect his players. Hope Ajax knock Juve out the CL now, he’s basically condoned racism, there’s no excuse for it ever.
— TheArseView (@TheArseView) April 2, 2019
Regarding the whole Moise Kean situation: He’s 19 & was targeted my monkey noises from the first minute. He then scored a goal and decided to stand up to the fans. It was completely within his right and Bonucci, nor anybody else for that matter, is entitled to dispute otherwise.
— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) April 3, 2019
Moise Kean's response to racist abuse was spot on. Like Sterling did, highlight and expose it. Bonucci saying Kean is 50-50 to blame is insane. Ignoring racial abuse is a step closer to accepting it. Respect Moise #kickitout #MoiseKean @bonucci_leo19 pic.twitter.com/RKsMICgO0b
— Jake (@Jakep010923) April 3, 2019
Allegri and Bonucci both think the young lad is at fault here. This is just mind-boggling. https://t.co/MzrJaSVtsw
— Quofi (@Renius_Kofi) April 3, 2019
Hey @MoiseKean .....I salute you - best way to deal with racist chanting: bang a goal in and then ram your celebration down the throats of the opposition fans! oh Bonucci and Allegri you’ve gone down in my estimation pic.twitter.com/MVq36wBsgO
— Joe Morrison (@joefooty) April 3, 2019
So let me get something off of my chest. Leonardo Bonucci says the Cagliari fans being racist towards Moise Kean all match are 50% to blame and the other 50% rests with Moise because he provoked them after scoring in the 85th minute?! Someone step in here and help me understand!
— Ryan Smith (@rsmithldn) April 3, 2019
During rape conversations, it's people like Bonucci that go on to say "the blame is 50-50. The girl shouldn't have worn a mini skirt and the guy should have kept his penis to himself."
People like him blame the victim and reproach the culprit.
— Ronald | The #GigGuy (@IAmRonaldX) April 3, 2019
Cagliari president Tommaso Giulini also put the blame of the abuse on Kean’s celebration.
"I heard mostly boos, if they started making animal noises then we were in the wrong," he said. "What happened at the end was because of a celebration which was wrong and it would have happened with any other player."
After the match, however, Kean posted a picture of his celebration on Instagram and captioned it, “The best way to respond to racism #notoracism.”