The day after the night before, many are still trying to understand why Mario Balotelli burst into tears after being subbed during AC Milan’s 3-1 defeat at Napoli on Saturday night.
Twitter lit up like a bonfire immediately after the images of Balotelli weeping on the bench were broadcasted on TV, with rumours turning into instant facts that Super Mario was bawling because he’d been racially abused by Napoli fans.
Those rumours didn’t fit in with the narrative coming out of the Milan dressing room after the match ended.
When Clarence Seedorf spoke the the media following is first defeat in charge of the Rossoneri, the boss spoke about Balotelli’s tears without even touching on the notion his striker was racially abused. Seedorf told Sky Italia:
We are players and there are times when we express ourselves that way. I see nothing wrong or abnormal in that. I experienced it at times too.
He too needs to grow in general. He played very well against Cagliari, while tonight perhaps didn’t make the most of the space. These are things we can all improve on and I’m happy he has so many areas to improve, as I can help him through that education.
Now Football-Italia’s Susy Campanale has written an excellent blog confirming that Balotelli WAS NOT racially abused at the San Paolo.
How quickly this falsehood spread was disconcerting… I don’t know where the rumour started, perhaps from a Vine account or a misguided journalist who wasn’t at the game, but it seemed incredibly difficult to stop.
Evidence and context were apparently irrelevant, for Balotelli broke down and therefore it HAD to be racist abuse.
Don’t underestimate the power of sport to move the emotions in fans or players. And don’t leap to conclusions.
Footage of Mario Balotelli crying at Napoli below.