Football News

Sterling leads condemnation of Bonucci over response to racist abuse of Kean

By Steve Jennings

Published: 16:13, 3 April 2019

Raheem Sterling has labelled Leonardo Bonucci’s comments ‘laughable’ after the Juventus centre-back suggested his teammate Moise Kean was partly to blame for being racially abused by Cagliari fans.

Kean, 19, received the abuse both before and after scoring the second goal in Juventus’ 2-0 win at Cagliari on Tuesday night.

Moise Kean racist abuse: five key things to know…

  1. A section of Cagliari supporters could be heard hurling racist abuse at Kean during Tuesday’s Serie A clash.
  2. After scoring Juventus’ second goal, Kean stood still and held out his arms in front of the home fans.
  3. More abuse was heard and Kean’s teammate Blaise Matuidi allegedly asked the referee for the game to be stopped.
  4. After the match, Bonucci said the blame “should be split 50-50” between Kean and the Cagliari fans, suggesting the teenager had provoked the abusers.
  5. Bonucci’s comments have been met with condemnation by the football world.

Kean’s goal celebration, standing in front of the Cagliari supporters with his arms spread, was quickly halted by players from both sides.

In a move that surprised many, Bonucci appeared to criticise Kean’s celebration in his post-match interview.

“[The blame] should be split 50-50,” Bonucci said, according to the Guardian.

“He (Kean) needs to be contained and only think about celebrating with the team.”

Manchester City forward Sterling quoted Bonucci in his Instagram story, adding laughter and clapping emojis before writing: “All you can do now is laugh.”

Bonucci eventually responded, posting a picture of himself and Kean on his Instagram story with the caption: “Regardless of everything, in any case… No to racism.”

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The football world condemns Bonucci

Sterling’s sentiment was echoed by other footballers including Matuidi, who posted a picture of Kean celebrating on Twitter.

Mario Balotelli responded strongly, replying to Kean’s Instagram post with the comment: “Bravo! And to Bonucci, he’s lucky I wasn’t there. Instead of defending you, he does this? I am shocked.”

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba wrote on Instagram: “I support every fight against racism, we’re all equal.”

Patrice Evra also weighed in on Twitter, writing: “Well done Moise Kean for standing up to them and showing them who is boss.”

Kean’s agent, Mino Raiola, told BBC Sport: “I am with my players until the end. If in the team or the club there are people who are not willing to fight racism they should be leaving.”

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund’s official Twitter account delivered a unique response to the situation by posting a picture of club captain Marco Reus leaving Bonucci on the seat of his pants.