One wonders how Inter Milan’s black and mixed-race players like Joel Obi, Ibrahima M’Baye, Juan, Jonathan and even Japanese international Yuto Nagatomo feel, after the club’s fans directed racial abuse towards Mario Balotelli.
Admittedly it was only a small section of the Nerazzurri faithful, who were probably compelled as much by footballing rivalry as by prejudice, but all the same it casts a pall over the blue half of the San Siro.
The racist chanting about AC Milan striker and Italian international Balotelli took place at the weekend, during Inter’s 3-1 Serie A win over Chievo Verona.
During the match, a section of the Inter supporters launched into racist slogans about Super Mario, who has already endured a colourful few weeks back home, after his return to Italy from Manchester City.
Unlike AC’s vice-president Paolo Berlusconi, who denied racially insulting Balotelli despite being caught doing so on camera, Inter Milan have offered an apology for the uncouth behaviour of a minority of their fans.
With a red-hot Milan derby fast approaching later this month, Inter president Massimo Moratti says he hopes such poor behaviour does not occur again.
"I was told about it because I couldn't make out clearly what they were saying. I'm very sorry about that,'' Moratti told Inter's official website.
"I'm very sorry, and I really hope it doesn't happen during the derby.''