European football’s ugliest face was on display this weekend, as once again a Serie A match was marred by racist abuse from fans.
It was Romelu Lukaku on the end of it, as Inter Milan’s new star man and record signing received jeers and racist chanting from Cagliari fans during the Milan club’s 2-1 win. Last season, it was the same supporters who made headlines for their treatment of Moise Kean.
Like Kean before him, Lukaku’s reaction to it is deserving of great praise. At it’s most intense, the abuse was an attempt to unsettle the Belgian as he stepped up to take a penalty in the 70th minute. Monkey chants were heard as the striker put his talented left foot through the ball, calmly scoring what you be the winning goal in a situation that no player should have to endure.
His celebration was muted, standing in front of and facing up to the very fans who had been abusing him. His second goal in as many weeks, there is big pressure on Lukaku as he wears the Inter number 9 shirt, but he seems to have made a fine start. He will face very few challenges as difficult as this weekend, though, where he proved that class, talent and humanity can rise above evils that still exist within society.