Critique of Serie A’s ‘Keep Racism Out’ Campaign

Napoli’s decision to opt out of Serie A’s ‘Keep Racism Out’ campaign sends a strong message to the league and the Italian football federation. By refusing to participate in the campaign, Napoli is taking a stand against the lack of action taken against Inter Milan defender Francesco Acerbi for allegedly directing racist language towards defender Juan Jesus. This move highlights the club’s commitment to addressing racism and discrimination in football.

Misguided Judgement

The sporting judge’s decision not to punish Acerbi due to a lack of “reasonable certainty” regarding the racial nature of the incident is deeply troubling. While the judgement acknowledges the offensive and threatening nature of the language used, it fails to hold Acerbi accountable for his actions. This ruling sets a dangerous precedent and undermines the efforts to eradicate racism from the sport.

Napoli’s rejection of the ‘Keep Racism Out’ campaign patches on their shirts is a bold statement of defiance against the league’s inaction. The club’s chief marketing officer’s confirmation that Napoli will pursue their own initiatives to combat racism and discrimination demonstrates a proactive approach to addressing the issue. By taking matters into their own hands, Napoli is ensuring that their commitment to inclusivity is not merely symbolic but backed by concrete actions.

The Serie A’s ‘Keep Racism Out’ campaign, which includes initiatives like specialised ball podiums, line-up arches, substitution boards, and captain’s armbands, appears to be more about optics than actual implementation. Napoli’s decision to distance themselves from these superficial gestures exposes the hollowness of such initiatives when the league fails to take decisive action against acts of racism on the field. It raises questions about the effectiveness of such campaigns in truly combating discrimination in football.

The situation with Acerbi’s alleged racist remarks and the subsequent lack of punishment highlights the urgent need for accountability within the football governing bodies. It is not enough to have symbolic gestures and token campaigns against racism; concrete steps must be taken to address and eradicate discriminatory behavior in the sport. Napoli’s stance serves as a reminder that words alone are not sufficient, and action is needed to create a more inclusive and respectful environment in football.

Napoli’s decision to reject participation in Serie A’s ‘Keep Racism Out’ campaign sheds light on the shortcomings of the league and the Italian football federation in addressing racism. It calls for a more proactive and meaningful approach to combat discrimination in football, emphasizing the importance of accountability and genuine efforts towards inclusivity.

Francesco Acerbi

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