Some teammates are saying it takes two to tango to racism.
Juventus’ Italian teenage forward Moise Kean is the latest athlete to fall victim to verbal racists attacks from fans. The problem is Kean’s teammates feel as though Kean played a role in his attack.
According to BBC , before scoring the second goal of the game against Cagliari, fans were reportedly chanting monkey noises at Kean. Instead of responding back, Kean decided to celebrate his goal by rejoicing in front of the fans.
After scoring, Kean stared down the Cagliari side of the audience. He later posted a photo of his stance upon scoring the goal to his Instagram, with the caption, “The best way to respond to racism.”
Surprisingly, Kean hasn’t received full support from his fellow teammates. Juventus captain Leonardo Bonucci said that Kean didn’t handle the situation correctly. Telling Sky Sports Italia, “When he scores a goal, he has to focus on celebrating with his teammates. I think the blame is 50-50, because Moise shouldn’t have done that, and the Curva [fans] should not have reacted that way.”
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri also agreed that the celebration should’ve been handled differently but also stated that the racism in the stands wasn’t acceptable. “He shouldn’t have celebrated in that manner,” Allegri added. “He is a young man and he has to learn, but certain things from the crowd also shouldn’t be heard.”
We’ve seen in the past athletes get fined for engaging with heckling fans. Russell Westbrook found himself in a similar situation a few weeks ago after a fan made flagrant comments about the NBA star. Westbrook quickly reminded the fan that his hands weren’t made for just dribbling. The league fined Westbrook as a result.
Although Kean’s captain and manager feel as though he handled the situation poorly, Kean found support from Manchester City and England player Raheem Sterling.
Sterling just might be on to something.