Some people shouldn’t be given a microphone — Paolo Berlusconi, for one.
The vice president of AC Milan recently closed a political event with a racial slur against his own team’s star, Mario Balotelli, who is of African descent.
The slur comes a month after the entire AC Milan team walked off the field in support of a teammate, Kevin-Prince Boateng, a German-Ghanaian midfielder who was the target of racist chants by another team’s fans.
There’s no room for racism in soccer, AC Milan’s owner said at the time:
“These uncivil episodes, these catcalls and defamatory chants now occur with excessive frequency and offend soccer and all of sports.”
AC Milan’s president? Silvio Berlusconi — the former prime minister and Paulo’s brother. By the way, Silvio, trying to make a political comeback, most recently made news by praising infamous Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
Maybe nobody named Berlusconi should be given a mic.
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Some people shouldn’t be given a Twitter account — Chris Rix, for one.
The former Florida State quarterback called a radio show to bait onetime teammate Darnell Dockett, a defensive end for the Arizona Cardinals.
Discussing a Twitter dustup between Dockett and Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron over McCarron’s girlfriend, Katherine Webb, Rix said it was a “sign of relief” for him to see Dockett interested in a woman.
The discussion between Rix and the show’s host degenerated from there into such lines as Rix’s saying, “Let’s just say there were a few stories of why is Darnell hanging out at this dude’s house or this guy’s dorm room a little more than you’re used to hanging out at a guy’s dorm room.”
The Twitter exchange that ensued between Rix and Dockett was everything you’ve come to expect when jocks or former jocks feel the need to vent, especially over questions of their manhood.
The Algonquin Round Table it was not.
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Some people shouldn’t be given access to reporters — Arsene Wenger, for one.
The Arsenal manager insisted to the press that English soccer is “100 percent clean.”
This on the heels of a European police report that said that some 680 matches — matches that include qualifiers for the World Cup and European championship and the Champions League — had been deemed suspicious in a match-fixing inquiry.
According to police, criminals involved in illegal gambling syndicates bought off administrators, game officials and players. But we’re to believe they left jolly old England alone?
“It would be naive and complacent of those in the U.K. to think such a criminal conspiracy does not involve the English game and all the football in Europe,” Rob Wainwright, head of the police intelligence agency known as Europol, said.
That’s one response. Here’s another:
If we’ve learned anything the last few years, it’s that in the world of sport, nothing — nothing — is “100 percent clean.”
Contact Jim Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org.