Brescia President Massimo Cellino 'Jokes' Mario Balotelli "Is Black And Is Working On Clearing Himself"
Mario Balotelli has been subjected to a disgusting racist 'joke' after Brescia president Massimo Cellino claimed the striker's problem was that he is 'black' and he's trying to 'clear himself'.
Three weeks ago Balotelli was racially abused by fans of opposition Hellas Verona, during Brescia's away game, with the striker booting the ball into the crowd in protest.
Last week, the 29-year-old reportedly stormed out of training after an argument with manager Fabio Grosso. On Monday club president Cellino was asked what was wrong with the manager, with the president 'joking,' "What can I tell you? He's black and he is working on clearing himself."
Last week Cellino had blamed the training ground bust up on the racist abuse, and Balotelli's ability to handle it, saying, "I wasn't there. Grosso didn't call me; I have to assume that there aren't any problems. Anyway, Mario hasn't been smiling since Verona."
Not for the first time in Italy this season fans of a player racially abused by opposition fans sided with the opposition fans, with Brescia ultras releasing a statement after the game saying, "If Balotelli was not ready psychologically to face the Verona fanbase and, above all, such a delicate match in which our city and our coach - among the most beloved figures - was taking his final chance at saving his job, then he should've said so and left his place to someone less... irritable than him. None of us would've been upset if he had, quite the contrary.
"...We have absolutely no doubts that Balotelli is to all intents Italian, and even a Bresciano, but the arrogance that he continually gives off is unjustifiable.
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"The notorious 'Balotellate' antics are now all too well known. What matters more to us are the spirit of sacrifice, passion respect, motivation and sweating for the shirt, concepts that seem to be entirely unknown to him."
Earlier this season Romelu Lukaku was subject to abuse from home fans during Inter's visit to Cagliari, with fans making monkey noises after the striker scored to put his side 2-1 up from the penalty spot.
Inter fans also took the side of their own player's abusers, claiming the noises were a compliment to how well he was playing, saying, "We are really sorry you thought that what happened in Cagliari was racist. 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 seemed racist to you, but it is not like that.
"In Italy we use some 'ways' only to 'help our teams' and to try to make our opponents nervous, not for racism but to mess them up."
At some point authorities in Italy need to take actual action and try and stop the racism problem in football and society.