Juventus condemn racist chants toward Weston McKennie, investigation to take place

Italian giants Juventus released a statement in support of United States men’s national team star Weston McKennie after he was the victim of racial abuse from Lazio fans on Tuesday.

A video circulating online shows McKennie walking on the sideline after being substituted in the 89th minute. In the video fans can clearly be heard making monkey sounds and chants toward the American midfielder.

Weston McKennie racial abuse vs. Lazio

Juventus responded with a social media post in support of McKennie on Thursday and have begun an investigation of the incident.

“Following confirmation of the incident by the player, the club communicates that it has activated all procedures aimed at verifying what happened and will fully cooperate in order to identify the persons responsible and, consequently, take all necessary measures in this regard,” the club said in a statement.

Italy’s Serie A has a notorious history of racism with racist chants frequently happening at games. This isn’t the first time McKennie has been a victim of racial abuse during a game in Italy this season.

In November Fiorentina were handed a one-match stadium ban for racist chants directed at McKennie and some of his teammates.

Lazio’s ultras and extreme fans are notoriously right-wing, fascist and racist. In January Lazio fans were partially banned for a game after monkey chants toward Roma star Romelu Lukaku. 

Another incident involving Lazio fans occurred in Germany during the Champions League this season. The club’s fans were videoed doing Nazi salutes in a beer hall in Munich.

McKennie helped lead Juventus to a 2-0 victory in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semifinal vs. Lazio. The American recorded his 10th assist of the season.

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