Photo: Enrico Locci (Getty)

A group of racist Italian soccer fans spoke up Tuesday to offer a defense of the character of another group of racist Italian soccer fans, in the wake of an ugly scene over the weekend featuring a player being showered with monkey noises during play. The twist here is the people doing the defending are super-fans of the team whose player was subjected to the taunts, because evidently the ultimate loyalty among Italian soccer fans is not to their teams, but to the broader community of vile racists filling up Italian soccer stadiums.

Sunday afternoon Cagliari fans made loud monkey noises at Romelu Lukaku, as the Inter striker stepped up to take a penalty in his side’s eventual 2–1 away victory. Lukaku seemed to tune out the taunts during play—his successful penalty was the game-winner—but afterward he released a statement correctly describing the monkey noises as “racial abuse”:

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While this may seem pretty straightforward for those of us whose brains are not just a writhing ball of parasitic worms, for a certain strain of hopelessly moronic soccer fans, specifically targeting black players with loud monkey noises is actually not racist at all. Inter’s Curva Nord, a group of so-called ultras supporting Lukaku’s own damn team, explained this deeply shit-brained theory on Facebook Tuesday, in a letter to Lukaku. Here’s a translation:

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It’s amazing how the third sentence of the letter declares that Italy doesn’t have a problem with racism and then literally every sentence after that declares the exact opposite, with breathtaking clarity. The gist here is It’s not racist when Italian soccer fans specifically taunt black players with monkey noises, because Italy is not racist, and Italian soccer fans are only trying to help their team win, and some of us even have black friends. Which, for showing the capacity for empathy and the critical thinking skills of a four-year-old, would be funny if it were not apparently a fair reflection of the collective attitude of the soccer fans of an entire nation.