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Fiorentina fans are attacking Chiesa’s teenage brother online and we should all be ashamed

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You have to be a special piece of garbage to post death threats against a 16-year-old for something he didn’t do.

Italy Training Session Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

This is really disgusting, so I’m going to keep it brief. Lorenzo Chiesa is a 16-year-old Viola academy player (training with Marco Donadel’s U17s) and is Federico’s younger brother. You already know where this story is going next, don’t you?

Yep. A certain subset of garbage-ass Fiorentina fans have been sending threats and insults to him via social media, directed at both his family and him specifically. I’m linking the Instagram post that’s born the brunt of these idiots’ anger so that everyone can go post something nice for him as well. I won’t exhaustively catalog everything on there, but it’s the typically uncreative stuff like “you’re shit” and “your family should all die” and “we don’t want any Chiesas in Florence.”

Let me reiterate: this is a 16 year old. That’s a sophomore in high school. He presumably doesn’t have much control over his 22-year-old brother’s career choices. He’s trying to navigate the double perils of being a teenager and playing high-level youth sports. The last thing he needs is a bunch of knuckle draggers posting death threats about his family.

If you’re so thick that you don’t see any inherent problem with this, you are an awful human and we don’t want you around people, particularly on this website. Beyond the sheer disgrace of posting death threats and other abuse on a teenager’s social media, this is the exact kind of thing that makes other players think twice about coming to Fiorentina. Cristiano Biraghi has dealt with this bullshit too, to say nothing about the racist abuse of Alfred Duncan last year. If this is how the fans are going to treat someone, why would that someone want to come within 100 miles of Florence?

It’s easy to point out that this is just a vocal minority, that “real” fans don’t do things like this, that it’s just a product of online culture. While those points are all correct, they miss the bigger issue: all of us who identify with fans are part of the group of Fiorentina fans. When any of us do something wrong, it means we all did something wrong. And telling a 16-year-old that you hope he and his family get killed in a traffic accident is pretty fucking wrong. I’m ending this story before I completely lose my cool, because this is trash. I want to say we’re better than this, but we’re clearly not, and I could not be more ashamed.