A gesture meant to celebrate an opening goal and support the Black Lives Matter movement online went wrong; when an Italian football club posted a photo with a controversial angle, one that was perceived by many fans as "racist."
As Series A games continue after months-hold in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, Torino's Cameroonian defender Nicolas Nkoulou celebrated his goal kneeling in memory of George Floyd, the African American man who was killed by a police officer in the United States last month, triggering a wave of global protests demanding an end to "police brutality" against black people.
This is the worst possible picture you could've used lol— Top Boy (@king_mantey) June 20, 2020
So I just went back and watched it. It’s a weird scene tbh. I’m really trying to check my preconceived notions here. N’Koulou celebrates with everyone. He takes a knee, everyone walks away but Belotti who waits directly in front of him and then celebrates again once he stands. pic.twitter.com/JCSc6hOMim— Bigly Unwitty (@Hooneriphic) June 21, 2020
Torino FC posted a photo of Nkoulou kneeling while his Italian teammate Andrea Belotti waited for him to congratulate him on his goal. Yet, the photo captioned "Black Lives Matter" which was posted by the English-speaking Torino page stirred many angry reactions as users argued "it was meant to offend black people again," saying that the media team could have chosen another one with a better angle.
Here is the video for proper context. Belotti just happened to be there congratulating before Nkoulou started kneeling. It's just unfortunate but the admin should have def cropped him out pic.twitter.com/LBdgNl0n5r— TheNightMaker (@thenightmaker1) June 21, 2020
Adding the quote doesn't make using the photo any better. This image is NOT effective in sending a message of solidarity w/#BLM. IF it included the teammate's supportive reaction instead of standing over Nkoulou, there wouldnt be a problem. Alas, your comms team is 🗑.— Force Sensitive (@calvin_hobbes4) June 21, 2020
Torino's English page didn't take the photo down, despite hundreds of protest calls, but posted yet another one with a statement made by Nkoulou.
You saw all the backlash when you used this angle in the other post and you choose to use it again?— Chris (@CentuVoid) June 21, 2020
The new photo triggered an even stronger backlash as commentators continued to demand a better stance on the Italian football club's part.
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