Leonardo Bonucci Condemned for Saying Moise Kean Shares Blame for Racist Abuse

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2019

CAGLIARI, ITALY - APRIL 02:  Moise Kean of Juventus celebrates his goal 0-2 during the Serie A match between Cagliari and Juventus at Sardegna Arena on April 2, 2019 in Cagliari, Italy.  (Photo by Enrico Locci/Getty Images)
Enrico Locci/Getty Images

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci said Moise Kean shared the blame "50-50" for the racist abuse he received from some Cagliari fans on Tuesday, but many others have rallied around the youngster.

The 19-year-old scored in the 85th minute to make it 2-0 to the visitors and celebrated in front of the home fans, having been subjected to monkey chants and further racist abuse throughout the match:

After the match, Bonucci—who had opened the scoring in the first halftold Sky Sport Italia (h/t MailOnline's James Dutton):

"Kean knows that when he scores a goal, he has to focus on celebrating with his team-mates. He knows he could've done something differently too.

"There were racist jeers after the goal, Blaise heard it and was angered. I think the blame is 50-50, because Moise shouldn't have done that and the Curva should not have reacted that way.

"We are professionals, we have to set the example and not provoke anyone."

Per The Independent's Jack Rathborn, Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri called for the supporters responsible to be banned, but added:

"He shouldn't have celebrated in that manner.

"He is a young man and he has to learn, but certain things from the crowd also shouldn't be heard.

"You need great intelligence to deal with these situations and should not go to provoke people. That, of course, does not mean the idiots in the crowd and the way they reacted should be justified."

Bonucci and Allegri's views on Kean were not shared by his team-mates.

Amid the abuse following the goal, Bianconeri midfielder Blaise Matuidi appeared to urge Allegri to take his players off the pitch before he and captain Giorgio Chiellini spoke to the referee, while Cagliari skipper Luca Ceppitelli called on the supporters behind the goal to stop:

Play eventually continued, and a stadium announcement was issued at the Sardegna Arena, which prompted more whistles from some of the home crowd.

Matuidi also took to social media to lend his support to Kean, who defended his celebration after the match:

Some other big names in the world of football expressed their support for Kean:

Cagliari's president Tommaso Giulini suggested the abuse directed at Kean was a result of his celebration—rather than what prompted it—but was not racist:

"If [Federico] Bernardeschi had celebrated like that, he would've been treated exactly the same way by our fans. If [Paulo] Dybala had the same drama queen antics after the goal that Matuidi did, he would've been treated exactly the same way.

"I don't want people to start being self-righteous about it, because I heard that already, whereas Juventus players came to me afterwards and confessed Kean was wrong to celebrate that way.

"We cannot go around calling the entire Cagliari crowd offensive things. If there were racist jeers, then our fans got it wrong, but it happened because of the celebration and would've happened even if the goalscorer had a different colour of skin."

Bonucci, Allegri and Giulini were widely condemned for their comments:

Following the criticism of his comments, Bonucci took to Instagram on Wednesday, per Joe Short of the Express:

The incident follows racist abuse aimed at England players, including Callum Hudson-Odoi and Danny Rose, by some Montenegro fans in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between the two sides on March 25.

Per BBC Sport, earlier on Tuesday, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin had said referees would be encouraged to stop games amid such abuse.

He also highlighted Italy as having "one of the biggest problems with racism, sexism and homophobia."

Related

    Juve U23 Coach Banned for Blasphemy

    Serie C ban manager for insulting referee

    Juventus logo
    Juventus

    Juve U23 Coach Banned for Blasphemy

    Serie C ban manager for insulting referee

    Football-italia
    via Football-italia

    Barca CEO: We Did Everything for Neymar

    'We offered alternatives to PSG, who rejected them. They didn't want to do the deal'

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Barca CEO: We Did Everything for Neymar

    'We offered alternatives to PSG, who rejected them. They didn't want to do the deal'

    Gill Clark
    via Bleacher Report

    David Silva to Join Inter Miami

    Man City vet to link up with Beckham's squad

    World Football logo
    World Football

    David Silva to Join Inter Miami

    Man City vet to link up with Beckham's squad

    James Dudko
    via Bleacher Report

    Bonucci: Atletico Draw Hurts

    Juventus logo
    Juventus

    Bonucci: Atletico Draw Hurts

    Administrator
    via Juvefc.com