AC Milan's Mario Balotelli celebrates after scoring against Udinese during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the San Siro stadium in Milan Feb. 3, 2013. (REUTERS/Giorgio Perottino)
The younger brother of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has infuriated many over a racial slur aimed at AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli.
Paolo Berlusconi, the publisher of Italian newspaper Il Giornale and acting vice-president of AC Milan, owned by Silvio, referred to the striker as the team’s negretto, which translates to “little black boy”.
"Now let's go and watch the little black boy of the family, the hot head," Berlusconi told patrons at a party for his brother’s Freedom People Party. "All the young ladies are invited as well – you can even have a chance to meet the president.”
Balotelli was acquired by AC Milan on Jan. 29 via Premier League team Manchester City. Paolo Berlusconi’s comment was made the night before Balotelli’s first match with his new cub. It went unmentioned until a video of the speech went viral online.