Luciano Passirani fired by Italian TV station for racist comments
An Italian commentator Luciano Passirani fired from the Italian TV station after making a racist remark about the Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku.
Passirani appeared as a guest on TopCalcio24 praising the Inter Milan striker. He said he is unlike any other player in Serie A.
As the interview went on, tables turned. Passirani suggested the only way to stop Lukaku is by giving him “ten bananas.”
And he added, “I don’t see in the Italian League a player like Lukaku in any team, not in AC Milan, Inter, Rome or Lazio.”
“He is one of the strongest and I like him a lot. He is at least twice as strong as Duvan Zapata from Atalanta.”
“These players have something more than the others; these are the guys who make the goals and drag the team.”
“If they go one-on-one with you, you are dead. You fall to the ground. The only way to out-muscle him is to give him ten bananas to eat.”
After realizing what he had done, Passirani apologized. He insisted he was trying to make a joke and did not intend the comments to be racist.
The channel’s director Fabio Ravezzani came on air almost immediately to reiterate the apology. Thereafter, Ravezzani confirmed that Passirani would never appear on the network again.
He later tweeted, “Only a fraction of the transmission was spread widely, cutting off the guest’s subsequent apology that he had a moment of unpredictable confusion thinking of making a joke.
Lukaku has suffered racist abuse for a while now. One was during his new side’s 2-1 win at Cagliari at the beginning of September.
As he stepped up to take the penalty that granted a win, the Belgian was targeted with monkey chants.
He stared out the home supporters and then released a strongly worded statement in response.
The striker who was asked to lead the fight against racism in Italy wrote, “Many players in the last month have suffered from racial abuse. I did yesterday too.”
“Football is a game to be enjoyed by everyone and we should not accept any form of discrimination that will put our game in shame.”
Dear readers, it’s 2019. Instead of going forward in terms of football, we are going backward. I think the players need to unify and make a statement on this matter to keep this game clean and enjoyable for everyone.