Lilian Thuram condemns Leonardo Bonucci's comments on racist abuse targeted at Moise Kean
Thuram did not hold back when discussing Bonucci's reaction to the incident
Lilian Thuram has condemned Leonardo Bonucci in the strongest possible terms after he said the blame was '50-50' after Juventus youngster Moise Kean was subjected to racist abuse during their match against Cagliari.
A section of the Cagliari support targeted Kean, as well as Blaise Matuidi, during the league match that Juventus won 2-0, with monkey chants throughout the game. When Kean sealed the victory for Juve with a late goal, he celebrated by standing in front of the abusers, arms outstretched.
After the game, Bonucci did not condemn the abuse and support his teammate, but suggested that he had somehow 'provoked' the Cagliari supporters.
“Kean knows that when he scores a goal, he has to focus on celebrating with his teammates,” the defender told Sky Italia.
“He knows he could have done something differently too.
“There were racist jeers after the goal. Blaise (Matuidi) heard it and was angered. I think the blame is 50-50, because Moise shouldn't have done that and the Curva should not have reacted that way.
“We are professionals. We have to set the example and not provoke anyone.”
Bonucci backtracks on Kean remarks after mounting criticism led by Sterling pic.twitter.com/TfOK9zIxcR
— The Guardian (@guardian) April 4, 2019
Several high profile black footballers including Raheem Sterling and Memphis Depay have since condemned Bonucci for his comments.
The latest do so is Lilian Thuram, former Juventus and Barcelona defender and World Cup winner with France.
In an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, Thuram said that Bonucci "says what many people think, "Black people deserves what happens to them."
"It evokes a shared responsibility 50-50 between fans and Kean. When you think about it, Kean's own teammate says he deserves these monkey chants," he continued.
"The right question to ask Bonucci would be therefore: 'What did Kean do to deserve such monkey chants, to deserve so much contempt?' He never says to the fans that they are wrong to act in this way but that the player has partly sought the abuse.
"Bonucci's reaction is as violent as the cries of a monkey," he said.
Thuram then compared Bonucci's comments to victim-blaming in the case of sexual assault.
"It's like when a young woman gets raped and some people notice the way she was dressed. It's because of these people that it does not move forward," said the Frenchman.
Thuram denied that Bonucci was 'stupid' but suggested he had a skewed view of society.
"No, Bonucci is not stupid, he has some idea of society," Thuram said.
"What can be said of Bonucci is that he is making remarks of incredible violence against his own team-mate. But because Kean scored a goal and celebrated it in front of the opponent's rostrum, is it normal for him to be insulted for his skin colour?
"Bonucci's comments are just shameful. We must agree on racism. These monkey chants, they show contempt to all black people, including all children who are the colour of Kean."
Juventus fans have since rallied in support of Kean, expressing their disappointment that a player considered to be a leader at Juve would throw his own player under the bus like this.