Italian publication Corriere dello Sport received a lot of criticism on Thursday after a controversial headline saw the light. An image of the front page of the Italian paper described the upcoming meeting between Smalling’s Roma and Lukaku’s Inter Milan as ‘Black Friday’.
As expected, nobody was happy about this and both players hit out at the shocking headline. If this was a joke, it was a very poor attempt with them trying something simple and completely unnecessary. Smalling and Lukaku understandably posted angry responses to Twitter this evening.
Smalling tweeted a statement, slamming the ‘highly insensitive’ headline and urging the paper’s editors to be aware of the power of their words.
— Chris Smalling (@ChrisSmalling) 5 de diciembre de 2019
Lukaku, on the other hand, also took to Twitter to show his discomfort with Corriere dello Sport, slamming what he described as the ‘dumbest’ headline he’d seen.
— R.Lukaku Bolingoli9 (@RomeluLukaku9) 5 de diciembre de 2019
The Belgian star joined Internazionale from Manchester United this summer, while Smalling is on loan at Roma from the Red Devils. Both players have seen how things work in Italy when it comes to racism, especially Lukaku, who suffered racial abuse during the first games of the season.
Roma confirmed they’ve banned Corriere dello Sport from media duties with their club. They tried to make a joke, but that’s something only a few people would find funny.