Franck Kessie, Romelu Lukaku subjected to more racism in Italy

AC Milan's Franck Kessie reacts during the Italian Cup, second leg semifinal soccer match between AC Milan and Lazio, at the San Siro stadium, in Milan, Italy. (Luca Bruno/AP)

MILAN — AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie was reportedly subjected to racist chants over the weekend, and Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku was insulted by an Italian TV commentator.

Hellas Verona supporters aimed offensive chants at Kessie during the first half of a 1-0 loss to Milan on Sunday night, the Gazzetta dello Sport reported.

The Italian sports newspaper adds that the chants continued during halftime.

Verona tweeted Monday that the chants may have been misunderstood amid the loud cheers of its supporters, adding that there were "inevitable whistles for refereeing decisions that still today leave us very perplexed."

Verona’s Mariusz Stepinski was shown a straight red card in the first half.

Verona concluded its tweet with the hashtag "respect."

Kessie, an Ivory Coast international who is black, was also subjected to racist chants by Inter Milan and Lazio fans last season.

Also Sunday, a commentator on Italian TV, Luciano Passirani, was immediately suspended for a racist comment directed at Lukaku.

Speaking on the "Qui Studio a Voi Stadio" show, Passirani started off by saying, "I don’t see any other player in Italy now like Lukaku. … I really like him," before adding, "the only way to stop him is to say, ‘Here are 10 bananas that you can eat."’

Lukaku, who is also black, was targeted with monkey chants by Cagliari fans this month. The league judge has not decided yet whether Cagliari should be punished.

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