Berlusconis In Trouble Over 'Black Boy' Slur at Jewish-Raised Mario Balotelli

Pol's Brother Makes Racist Jab at Milan's New Signing

Jewish ‘Boy’: Mario Balotelli was an orphan and was raised by a Jewish family in Italy.
getty images
Jewish ‘Boy’: Mario Balotelli was an orphan and was raised by a Jewish family in Italy.

By Reuters

Published February 06, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

After making the “little black boy” remark, Paolo Berlusconi told his listeners at the event for a local centre-right candidate: “All the young ladies are invited as well - you can even have a chance to meet the president” - an apparent reference to his older brother Silvio, who is club president.

While Paolo was taking the heat for his comments, Silvio Berlusconi was still under fire over his motivation for bringing the hot-tempered Balotelli back to Italy in the first place, having previously said Milan did not need a “rotten apple”.

For the past week, former prime minister Silvio has been the regular butt of jokes by comedians and attacks by his political rivals over the transfer, which they see as a clear attempt to woo Italian soccer fans to vote for his centre-right coalition.

Last week L’Unita, the paper of the main centre-left party, said nationwide fans of Milan, who won the Italian championship in 2011 but are now fourth in the Serie A standings, could influence about 1.3 percent of the vote.

L’Unita said thrusting Balotelli into the election campaign was “the devil’s touch”, a play on words because Milan’s mascot is a red-and-black devil.

Another paper said the move was so blatantly political that it called Balotelli “Candidate Mario,” in an editorial.

MONKEY CHANTS

Balotelli is no stranger to racism, real or perceived.

He was born in Sicily to Ghanaian parents and given up for adoption to an Italian family at the age of three. He grew up in northern Italy and became an Italian citizen at 18.

Both in Italy and during the 2012 European soccer Championship co-hosted by Poland and the Ukraine he endured monkey chants and bananas thrown on the pitch.

He seemed to anger racist fans more than other black players in Italy, precisely because he is Italian and not a foreigner.

When Balotelli played for Inter Milan, rival Juventus fans once shouted: “There are no black Italians.”

Last month Silvio Berlusconi defended his players for walking off the pitch during a friendly match against lower division team Pro Patria, when Ghanaian midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng and two of his team mates were subjected to monkey chants and jeers from opposition fans.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.