American Football

Italian soccer pundit fired for racist on-air comments

Luciano Passirani was speaking on Top Calcio 24 about the Inter Milan striker when he commented: "Lukaku is one of the strongest, I like him a lot because he has strength: he is the alter ego of [Duvan] Zapata at Atalanta."They have something more than the others, there's nothing else to do. They score the goals and drag your team forward," he added. "If you go one-on-one with him, he will kill you. Either you give him 10 bananas to eat, or …"That prompted program director Fabio Ravezzani to say Passirani "could no longer participate in our broadcasts" despite him being "the first to apologize.""One of our commentators, in trying to define Lukaku's strength through a series of compliments, unfortunately chose a very bad metaphor that turned out to be racist," said Ravezzani."We cannot tolerate that, even unintentionally, a person who speaks for hours makes racist comments." READ: Tammy Abraham's mother wept over racial abuse of her sonREAD: Monkey chants 'not racist,' says Inter Milan fans group

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Lukaku, who was signed from Manchester United this summer, has already scored two goals in three games for Inter Milan.But his successful start was marred by Cagliari fans singing monkey chants earlier in September. He wrote on Instagram after the game: "Many players in the last month have suffered from racial abuse … I did yesterday to [sic]," Lukaku wrote on Instagram."Football is a game to be enjoyed by everyone and we shouldn't accept any form of discrimination that will put our game in shame. I hope the football federations all over [the] world react strongly on all cases of discrimination."To make things worse, his own Inter Milan fans claimed monkey chants directed at him were not "racist". But an open letter from the fan group "Curva Nord," posted on its Facebook page, claimed the Cagliari fans were showing Lukaku a form of "respect" and that Italy doesn't have a problem with racism."We are really sorry you thought that what happened in Cagliari was racist," the group said."You have to understand that Italy is not like many other north European countries where racism is a REAL problem. We understand that it could have seemedRead More – Source