January 09, 2005

Politics in sports: rears its ugly head again. It didn't matter if it's part of a sports celebration, part of history, or symbol of bad times ... the fans are up in arms over it.

posted by roberts to soccer at 08:43 AM - 16 comments

Picture of the offending salute. Di Canio was one of my favourite players when he was in English football. I'm both disappointed and disgusted with him.

posted by squealy at 09:20 AM on January 09, 2005

Wow. Considering his documented admiration for Benito Mussolini, his denial that it has anything to do with fascism isn't very convincing. The least you can do, if you're going to celebrate murderous regimes, is to have the courage of your warped convictions.

posted by rcade at 09:48 AM on January 09, 2005

he should have known that if something like this became public, he would be tarnished. this is one of those classic "open mouth insert foot" moments

posted by DaGeneral at 12:39 PM on January 09, 2005

Wow......a very interesting story that roberts posted (tks!), but I'd have to say that squealy's photo link speaks a thousand words. It sort of removes a lot of the gray area from the text.

posted by smithers at 02:51 PM on January 09, 2005

I'm with squealy... I always liked Di Canio, but wow. That is awful.

posted by afx237vi at 03:25 PM on January 09, 2005

The other worrying thing is that Di Canio's team Lazio were associated with Mussolini in a big way back in the 20s and 30s. And the opponents Roma are known as the team of Rome's Jewish community. He's an idiot.

posted by owlhouse at 07:55 PM on January 09, 2005

You are being too generous even calling it politics. This is just a shame. Naturally, Alessandra Mussolini is the only one defending him in public.

posted by insomnyuk at 08:27 PM on January 09, 2005

So forgive this ugly american for his ignorance, but it's long been my understanding that Italians all but universally loathe Mussolini- didn't they tear him apart in the streets at the end of WWII? Or is it kind of like what I hear Germany is regarding Hitler, or the USA when it comes to all matters African-American: lots of strong public condemnation, of course, but still way too many people who are quietly comfortable with the idea of a return to the "old ways"?

posted by hincandenza at 12:28 AM on January 10, 2005

Oh the facists aren't that threatening. That people are racist and facist isn't necessarily true. Still - that has to be the best career-killing picture, the look is visciously priceless.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:34 AM on January 10, 2005

I think it's a fear of mob mentality, Hal. One of the reasons to make racist and fascist sentiments "beyond the pale" is a cynical belief that any society, properly stoked by fear or hardship, could descend into it.

posted by rcade at 08:13 AM on January 10, 2005

I think its hilarious...

posted by StarFucker at 12:14 PM on January 10, 2005

Hal: Mussolini was deposed by the Italians themselves in 1943, who sued for peace with the Allies. The Nazis then effectively invaded thier former ally and put Mussolini back in power as a puppet, sustaining the war in Italy for another year and resulting in death and destruction in mainland Italy. One can understand why Italians might be displeased. Bear in mind that Mussolini was a dictator. His genuine popularity at the time he was in power is impossible to assess.

posted by rodgerd at 06:37 PM on January 10, 2005

I'm just saying- Pinochet was a brutal dictator who committed, or had committed, some of the most unimaginable depravities any human has ever committed on tortured/maimed/killed subjects. And yet there are plenty of defenders of his in Chile, along with defenders of Kissinger et al who helped prop him up. I'm just curious if the Italians have that decent-sized "but he did make the trains run on time!" soft spot, or if their loathing for him was unabated in present day.

posted by hincandenza at 07:50 PM on January 10, 2005

owlhouse, thanks for the supporter generalities. worrying indeed, though the influx of anti-semitism of recent years is no secret. what a knob! i hope he doesn't come up with some ass-backwards public display-type of an apology. (use your imagination, because I ain't even gonna give the possibilities form)

posted by garfield at 09:18 AM on January 11, 2005

ass-backwards public display-type of an apology Randy Moss-style?

posted by trox at 09:36 AM on January 11, 2005

no, but i can see why you'd say that. i was thinking more along the lines of the blackface idea.

posted by garfield at 10:20 AM on January 11, 2005

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