by Luca Amorosi and Matteo Maria Munno
From yesterday evening to this morning – and it is still in progress – there is the triumph, the jubilation, the joy of a country that, net of a pandemic, has poured out onto the streets, balconies, squares – mask-fitted in most part of the cases – to explode with blue joy after the success of the national team against the beloved Belgium. There is not Lukaku to silence him, or tir ‘a gir’ by Lorenzo Insigne must be celebrated, memato, tiktok-ato.
Each story is actually made up of other stories: last night we celebrated the end of the match, the match itself inside had the courage to De Bruyne broken and on the pitch, or the Milanese dualism between the starter Donnarumma and the rampant Lukaku, the tears of the Giallorossi Spinazzola and his Achilles tendon that made a crack.
There is another story, however, that has been talked about so much earlier and we feel the ‘itch’ to point out later: Italy on its knees. No, we are not talking about the economic crisis, the post-pandemic recovery or the strong powers: we are talking about Italy’s participation in Belgium’s action linked to joining Black Lives Matter. After a lot of talking, Mancini’s guys joined their colleagues in Belgium in expressing disdain for a problem that Italian sport knows well (better ask Zoro) and that should not be ‘avoided’, but faced and dismantled piece by piece until it is uprooted. The way to do this, however, needs to be improved. Because it is one of those cases in which not only the final result (the genuflection) should be seen, but also and above all the process by which one arrives at it. Process in which all of us, for now, have come out with a score below the pass. Support becomes social with sticker e stories? Also, but it is starting to no longer be enough.
“Better eliminated than kneeling”: this is perhaps the most aberrant comment we have had to read in the social world in these days of controversy over the (absent, total, partial) kneeling of the National team in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The gesture that is emptied of the social commitment it represents and is instead negatively connoted as who knows what signal of submission or surrender: a reasoning so diverted to be left baffled, a bit like that of considering the whole issue as a political fact, and therefore divisive, when in reality it does nothing but raise awareness of a social aspect in which fundamental human rights are at stake, and which for this reason should get everyone to agree. And because there are those who hide behind speeches like “the racism we fight in other ways “? Why not accept that this is one of many ways? We are talking about an international competition seen by half the world, of players who have millions of followers in the various social channels: one knee to the ground, in these cases, it can make all the difference in the world, indeed. So why not do it?
It would be worth asking the players and leaders of the national team who in recent weeks, off the pitch, have behaved in a diametrically opposite way compared to the great ride that brought us to the semifinals. Showing, above all, a great confusion: from the partial kneeling against the Wales to the decision to remain standing with Austria as, verbatim, it is an unshared initiative (why?), until the press release in which free choice is left to the individual players, to remove the chestnuts from the fire, after passing from the apex of nonsense: “When there is a request from the other team, we will kneel, out of a feeling of solidarity and sensitivity towards the other team”. It should be pointed out that solidarity should not be given to the other team, but to an entire global community of people who daily discrimination experiences and injustices, but so much.
What then, if someone has watched the national basketball team at the pre-Olympic tournament, he will have noticed that all of ours basketball players they knelt down: no controversy, no debate, no notes. And then, perhaps, it is just a cultural problem of our football, which enjoys too much following and, consequently, of too many interests and conditioning. And here in order not to annoy anyone, even when no one has a reason to do so, we take refuge in indolence and benaltrism. After all, we just want to see a football match, right?