The Economist panned after arguing most 'striking' aspect of Italy soccer team was lack of diversity
Media top headlines July 15
A Lincoln Project member saying that failing to pass Dem voting bills will lead to another 9/11, a BBC reporter getting fired after sending a ‘Hitler was right’ tweet, and the founder of a liberal news site saying the right to own firearms is ‘made up’ round out today’s top media headlines
The Economist ruffled feathers of social media users and soccer fans alike on Wednesday after calling the Italian soccer team’s apparent lack of diversity the most “striking” feature of the squad.
Italy defeated England in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday in penalty kicks to take home the championship trophy. The close match captivated fans, yet The Economist appeared to be more concerned that there were not more players of color on the pitch.
“The most striking aspect of Italy’s 26-man squad before it took to the pitch was that, alone among the main contenders, it did not include a single player considered as being of colour,” The Economist tweeted.
“THE EURO 2020 final between Italy and England was striking, not just for the clash of footballing styles in the match itself, but for the socio-political undercurrents that swirled between the two sides and touched on issues that included nationalism, internationalism and racial sensitivity,” the Economist wrote in the accompanying piece.
The outlet went on to note the squad received criticism for their “ambivalent” approach to taking a knee as a gesture of opposition to racism and that the sporting event “favored” the country’s right wing.
Critics were confused by the outlet’s narrative and mocked the premise of the tweet.
“BREAKING: Italian team was comprised entirely of Italians. More at 11,” The Daily Caller mocked.
Based on the Economist’s narrative, others wondered whether the outlet would publish similar analysis of African soccer teams.
The Economist also referenced the racist attacks on British footballer Marcus Rashford after he missed his penalty kick to argue that “European football’s big night was not a great one for multiculturalism.”
Some soccer fans wished the media would simply let them enjoy the game without getting political.
The media has taken heat in recent years for fixating on race, particularly in sports, which critics have noted is supposed to be one of the few apolitical pastimes.
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