Here’s a tweet retweeted by AS Roma’s verified English account:
This “tribute” is for France international Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Roma fans like Yanga-Mbiwa. Seriously. It’s just that sometimes Italy can be, you know, a little bit racist and/or oblivious.
Yeah, #NotAllItalians, sure. But look at these people. No one in this picture, taken this past weekend at Roma’s home match against Palermo, seemed a bit bothered by the Roma fans in blackface. So maybe it isn’t too shocking the person in charge of Roma’s English Twitter account fired off this retweet.
Someone skipped cultural sensitivity (common sense) training.
But isn’t just the fans in blackface that’s troubling. The fans really do seem to think they’re paying tribute to Yanga-Mbiwa. In fact, fans gathered prior to the game to pay tribute to him as, just a week earlier, he scored the late winner against rivals Lazio to secure Roma’s automatic place in next year’s Champions League.
But still …
Come on, now.
Unfortunately, Yanga-Mbiwa’s day wasn’t over. Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reports that a group of Lazio fans — not to be left out of a story involving ignorance — approached Yanga-Mbiwa in front of nightclub and attempted to assault him with their belts. Whether the assualt was racially motivated or a response to Yanga-Mbiwa’s game-winning goal last week is unclear, but it’s safe to say that the French defender had an eventful weekend.