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“Enough is enough.”
That’s the message Roc Nation is sending Italian soccer fans — and people across the entire world — after Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku was berated by hateful “fans” making monkey noises during the game against Juventus F.C. on Tuesday.
Jay-Z‘s agency, which reps Lukaku, purchased a full-page advertisement in Italy’s daily sports newspaper, La Gazzetta dello Sport, which is headquartered just a few miles from where the racist incident went down at Allianz Stadium in Turin.
“Dear Italy, Do better. Want better. Be better,” the letter, translated into English, begins.
“In professional [soccer], Black players have been subjected to hatred during professional [soccer] games. The hatred has displayed itself in the form of monkey chants, racial slurs and banana peels tossed at the best players in the world, as the world watches, as the children watch, as the players’ families watch.”
“No one has faced any consequences for this heinous behavior. Nothing has changed. No action has been taken.”
Racist chants were made against Romelu Lukaku by certain Juventus fans.
— Get Italian Football News (@_GIFN) April 4, 2023
Of course, as the ad suggests, this isn’t the first time a Black player — and Romelu in particular — has been forced to endure racist behavior from fans.
29-year-old Lukaku, who was berated on Tuesday after converting a penalty kick against Juventus in the Coppa Italia semifinal match, was targeted by a racist group of fans in 2019.
Back then, Romelu, who again converted on a PK, was subjected to similarly gross behavior after his squad defeated Cagliari.
Roc Nation talks about the power of soccer to unite and then goes on to ask people around the world to take action to stop these ugly acts.
“We call on the worldwide community of sports – players, team owners, artists, brands and all fans – to denounce this racist behavior and hold bigots accountable to a human standard. One which upholds decency, respect and compassion for others.”
“The first team is the human team. Let’s work together to cut racism out of the game, for good.”