Corriere dello Sport's shocking 'Black Friday' headline featuring Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling

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Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport have been embroiled in a race storm following their controversial front cover on Thursday morning.

Ahead of Inter Milan vs Roma at the San Siro on Friday, they decided to run with the headline ‘Black Friday,’ The headline was accompanied with a black player from each side - Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling.

At a time when racism in Italian football is a major problem, it’s a shocking decision from the newspaper.

Lukaku himself was subject to monkey chants when taking a penalty in an away win at Cagliari earlier this season.

Cagliari escaped serious punishment.

More recently, Mario Balotelli was targeted to monkey chants during Brescia’s trip to Hellas Verona last month and threatened to walk off the pitch.

Verona only received a partial stadium closure.

Hellas Verona v Brescia Calcio - Serie A

Some fans have attempted to defend Corriere dello Sport by claiming that they’re offering cheap tickets to the fixture and the use of Lukaku and Smalling are purely coincidental.

But that view is certainly the minority with many slamming the ridiculous headline.

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Italian journalist Matteo Bonetti wrote: “Tone deaf, ignorant & with the usual racial undertones. Saying I’m shocked would be a lie at this point.”

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“Absolute embarrassment from @CorSport to come up with this title for Friday’s clash between Inter and Roma.”

Meanwhile, fellow Italian side Roma also tweeted their disgust:

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GIVEMESPORT’s Rob Hoskin says:

What were Corriere dello Sport thinking!?

How on earth can this headline A) Be suggested in the first place B) Get approved by multiple editors and C) Go to print without anyone suggesting that it’s a shocking idea?

The Italian media have a big role to play in tackling the disgraceful racism we’ve seen in the country this season and Corriere dello Sport’s headline will only exacerbate things.

Corriere dello Sport have a lot of questions to answer.

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