Racism is a stain that plagues a lot of European football, not just in
Lazio were Mussolini’s favorite team. Out-of-the-closet fascists such as Paolo Di Cannio have proudly served them, and Di Cannio infamously gave the fascist salute last year after his team won their derby against Roma. The team’s rabid ultras, the Irriducibili, routinely display banners and flags with Nazi and/or fascist symbolism adorning them (such as the SS Totenkopf), racist and anti-Semitic chants are routine, and up until recently they rarely if ever recruited black players to the squad. And if they did, those players didn’t last long.
ESPN soccer columnist Roberto Gotta would like you to cease being so hard on these lovable black shirts. Sure, his argument is a valid one—be wary of generalizing or demonizing teams, individuals, etcetera. I can’t argue with that. Pretty much all of the major football teams in Europe and
I realize that the Gotta article is a few weeks old, but I just came across it yesterday. I’ve been hibernating.