The club has today announced that they will establish a task force after numerous racist events took place in Italy since the start of the season.
Milan’s Franck Kessié and Inter’s Romelu Lukaku are just two players who have suffered from racism since the start of the 2019/20 Serie A campaign.
And while the Lega and FIGC shockingly do next to nothing to address the issue, the Rossoneri have taken it upon themselves to try and make a change in Calcio.
The club released the following statement on the eve of the Derby della Madonnina:
Milan, celebrating its 120th anniversary this year, has today announced that it will establish an internal task force, with the support of an external consultancy, to address the issue of racism in Italian football. This newly-formed group will develop a programme of activities to increase awareness, monitor and address racist behavior on social media and in the stadium, and drive the adoption of global best practices on diversity and inclusion.
Following several months of planning and internal discussion, the club has decided to accelerate the launch of the initiative after a number of high-profile events in recent weeks that have resulted in negative press both domestically and internationally.
The initiative will be launched at the club’s home match against Inter, in order to demonstrate solidarity with some of the most high-profile targets of the negative behavior. The match will be positioned as the “Derby Against Racism” and the players from both teams will join together for a photograph to mark the occasion before kick-off.
This move is consistent with the pioneering nature of the club, which has brought numerous footballing icons of diverse backgrounds to Serie A, including the first Milan black player to win the Ballon d’Or (Ruud Gullit, 1987) and its first African winner (George Weah, 1995).
Ivan Gazidis, CEO of Milan, stated: “Italian football needs to wake up and take a strong stance against racist behaviors. Milan will take a leadership position on this issue, promoting basic human values that are relevant to us all. Football provides a powerful example of the strength of unity and teamwork. Diversity, inclusion and tolerance enhance the strength of the team, the club and of society as a whole. We believe that we have a moral obligation to do everything we can to address this issue.”
Referring to the “Derby Against Racism” initiative, Mr. Gazidis added: “This first significant step aims to visibly demonstrate that we will be proactive in our efforts to tackle racism in football. These values transcend football rivalries and we are delighted to have the support of Inter for this initiative.”
Paolo Scaroni, Milan’s President, added his support, saying: “I am pleased that Milan is taking action to address one of the most important issues in our game and our society. This club has a powerful voice and I believe we can play an important role in the fight against racism.”