Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling respond to Italian newspaper's 'Black Friday' headline

FC Internazionale v SPAL - Serie A

Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku have responded to Italian newspaper's 'Black Friday' headline, with Smalling labelling it "wrong and highly insensitive".

Corriere dello Sport's front cover on Thursday featured an image of Smalling and Lukaku with the headline 'Black Friday' ahead of the Serie A contest between Inter Milan and AS Roma on Friday.

Smalling, on loan at Roma from Manchester United, and Lukaku have now both responded to the headline on Twitter.

“Whilst I would have liked to spend the day focusing on the big game tomorrow, it is important that I acknowledge that what occurred this morning was wrong and highly insensitive,” Smalling wrote.

“I hope the editors involved in running this headline take responsibility and understand the power they possess through words, and the impact those words can have.

“A big shout out to AS Roma for the support! 💛♥️.

“Now let the battle commence Rom, daje Roma! 🐺

Lukaku also responds

Lukaku has also responded to the story.

"Instead of focusing on a battle between two teams.. corriere dello sport comes with the most dumbest of headlines i have ever seen in my career.

“You guys keep fuelling the negativity and the racisme [sic] issue.

FC Internazionale v SPAL - Serie A

“Instead of talking about to the beautiful game that’s going to be played at San Siro between two great clubs..

“education is key.

“You guys of corriere dello sport should do a better job at that,.

“Thanks to all the fans and other journalists to hightlights [sic] for the support and let’s all look forward to tomorrow’s game.

“Forza inter.”

Roma and AC Milan ban Corriere dello Sport

In the wake of the headline, Roma and AC Milan have both banned Corriere dello Sport from their training facilities for the rest of the year.

Players from both teams will not carry out media duties with the newspaper, either.

"We believe that players, clubs, supporters and the media must be united in the fight against racism in football and we all have a responsibility to be very precise in the words we choose and the messages we deliver," a statement on Roma's website read.

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