Euro 2012: Gazzetta Dello Sport Depict Mario Balotelli As King Kong, Issue Non-Apologetic Apology

Chris Wright

27th, June 2012


By Chris Wright

Italian newspaper Gazzetto dello Sport have been backed into issuing a kinda sorta apology after a caricature of Mario Balotelli imagined as King Kong swatting flying footballs away from the top of Big Ben was published in Monday’s edition following Italy’s win over England the night before.

The Gazzetta statement reads thus:

”Some of our readers have protested regarding Valerio Marini’s cartoon. Balotelli was depicted as King Kong. We can honestly say it was not among the best products of our talented cartoonist. At this time, a measure of prudence and good taste are necessary because everything, absolutely everything, can be misinterpreted.

”The newspaper is for those who read it and hence, if certain readers found the cartoon offensive, we apologise.

“But those that accuse Gazzetta (and poor Marini) of racism are going overboard. This newspaper has fought any form of racism in every stadium and has condemned the boos directed at Balotelli as an unacceptable form of incivility.”

There’s a non-apologetic apology if ever we saw one.

As is usually the case with these things, it would appear that Balotelli hasn’t actually been canvassed for his opinion on the matter as the outrage continues to swell and froth on his behalf – though the Guardian have gone as far as speculating that he may be ‘unhappy’ with the cartoon.

Image: Telegraph

Posted in Euro 2012, FAIL, Media

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  1. Al says:

    I don’t think this cartoon is racist, it’s a take on Balotelli being involved in italy beating England hence big Ben, Balotelli is a big muscular guy, hence Kig Kong. There is a culture of seeing racism in everything which has a negative effect on the fight against real racism (such as the violent skin heads in Poland/Ukraine), people get over exposed and just think, oh anothr racism row and a serious piece of racism could potentially not get the required attention.

    And anyway it’s not racist unless it happened on twitter, everyone knows that.

  2. adhikapp says:

    Just because he’s making fun of a black guy doesnt mean he’s racist. Geez if Balotelli was white we wouldn’t have this debate.

  3. Chimpo says:

    But he’s not, so we are

  4. Toz says:


    It depicts him as a massive monkey. I can see why people would take offence to that.

    If they wanted to draw something more proper, they would have drawn a walking dick or a dinosaur.

  5. B says:

    If they needed to depict balotelli as a big musclar guy, why use the king kong, primate analogy? knowing that this depiction has been used in stadium as a form of racism? Are they not creative enough to portray balotelli’s aggression and energy any other way?

  6. garza says:

    Aren’t WE being somewhat racist by automatically connecting Balotelli’s race with the monkey analogy? Because I swear I didn’t see the picture that way until I read the headline that came with it. King Kong is an iconic fictional character, one that has come to represent strength and pathos (which I see in Mario), rather than, well, just being an ape. If they’d drawn, say, Ibra, we wouldn’t have this issue. But fine, I get that it’s a sensitive spot that didn’t need to be poked.

  7. KMT says:

    I’ve heard that he is being lined up to advertise Golden Shred…

  8. Jake says:

    I think this is terrible. To me they have clearly made Balotelli’s look like King Kong. I do think we are to PC at times but this is over stepping the line. With all the problems that Black players face in Italian football. The National Newspaper shouldn’t publish anything that people may see as racism. He acts stupid and is a idiot at times but what does him climbing Big Ben and Swatting footballs have to do with anything.

  9. Scott Mac says:

    Gorillas are apes not monkeys, therefore no racism here!

  10. bobsta says:


    “Aren’t WE being somewhat racist by automatically connecting Balotelli’s race with the monkey analogy?” No, It’s not racist because its not automatic, responding to racism is not racist.

  11. […] in the Euro 2012 championships, Italy’s leading sports newspapers served as a necessary reminder. Gazzeto Dello Sport rudely portrayed him as a giant ape (King Kong, to be precise,) while Tuttosport ran the headline […]

  12. Ano says:

    Why doesn’t the cartoonist depict himself and white players as King Kong? Why does it have to be only black players? I can’t believe there are people cynic and hypocrite enough to tell us that racism is not involved here. They are probably the one singing monkeys songs. As in this case just say I am singing a monkey song how is that racist? That kind of rhetoric is nothing new. I am waiting to see an Italian white political figure or star cartooned as King Kong and how it will work. Won’t people say no such cartoon doesn’t fit it can be right if it is used for blacks because they are the ones we link to gorillas and monkeys because we are more advanced than them. being white and living in technologically advanced societies make us superior human beings.

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