There have been accusations from some fans and media outlets that Zlatan Ibrahimovic made a racist comment to Romelu Lukaku during last night’s altercation.
As MilanNews reports, Ibrahimovic has often been hot-headed during his illustrious career – something that comes from his upbringing in the suburb of Rosengard in Malmö – but those who would ever accuse the Swede of being a racist or making a racist comment are incredibly misguided and such accusations are dangerous.
After the final whistle, Ibra immediately apologised in the locker room for leaving his team-mates down a man and for having been a protagonist of all the controversy, but he also clarified that he never made a racial slur. He made a provocative comment but a clever one related to Lukaku’s past, and never xenophobic.
Milan have always been at the forefront of the anti-racism issue, especially with its CEO Ivan Gazidis, but Ibrahimovic himself has repeatedly spoken with great consideration and intelligence on the issue.
During an interview with the BBC he stated the following: “Racism is a problem that has been talked about for a long time. I believe that football is a sport that connects all the people of the world.
“For this reason I believe that football is a single religion where everyone is welcome. When certain things happen [racist incidents], when we talk about racism I believe that it is uneducated people who have no idea what it means to live in 2020.
“It doesn’t matter where you come from, who you are, what colour you are. We are all equal. Either you change, giving real consequences, or you don’t do anything. There is nothing in between, because it wouldn’t help. There is yes or no.”