ACMilan Club of NYC v. Umberto Gandini: A Breakdown of Arguments

Let’s break this down by pair of replies

Annotations [ ] and personal opinion designated PA

 

0

Underlying Assumption – ACMilanNYC assume with their argument that supporting a racist/sexist in an election is equivalent to supporting their views.

PA – Whether or not this is a reasonable point of view is worth discussing. Many people have had regrettable statements that have followed them around, and is every person who supports them in their future endeavors condoning their previous actions? That’s a big question, one that should be addressed, but regardless, in the context of this election, the comments came at a sensitive time contextually in which Italy has been unsuccessfully battling at the corners of racism. This is probably not the time to be seen as supporting a perceived racist globally (regardless of whether or not he is domestically – Milan’s growth is globally and even the context of this conversation is between a fan club outside of Italy/Europe)

1

The argument began as ACMilanNYC continued a rant on AC Milan’s support of Tavecchio as FIGC president. Tavecchio was elected with 63% of the vote but also had said three particularly controversial statements that have been getting attention since they surfaced. These comments were aimed at blacks and women, and he followed those up by likening his subsequent persecution to that of  JFK’s assassin.

In Mr. Gandini’s response to ACMilanNYC in the above screenshot: he’s saying that ACMilanNYC are confusing two issues, one of which is racism. As such, since the two issues are unrelated, you are far off target.

 

 

2

 

ACMilanNYC clarify their position further, asking Mr. Gandini if he is implying that Tavecchio’s comments were not racist while reminding him that this is searchable by the public, and his words will be held to account.

In response, Mr. Gandini acknowledges the meaning of Tavecchio’s comments [while avoiding passing judgment on them], however accuses ACMilanNYC of simplifying the issue here.

[At this point “The Issue” is Milan’s support of Tavecchio in light of his comments.]

Mr. Gandini seems to imply in this tweet that ACMilanNYC’s anger is personal..

PA – which begs the question, why could a supporter possibly be personally upset with Milan after all they’ve done in the past few years?

3

 

ACMilanNYC clarifies one possible interpretation of Mr. Gandini’s “it’s personal” line, that it was Giancarlo [said administrator of ACMilanNYC for much of this discussion] who had issue with Mr. Gandini. He further reiterates his claim that the anger is directed at those who vote for racists or sexists, something with which he has zero tolerance.  

Mr. Gandini addresses his reply directly to Giancarlo, stating that the club is not, nor has ever been racist, as well as reminding Giancarlo that he should know this already (presumably based on past actions of the club).

PA – Interesting point to make here, as Mr. Gandini has touched on the implicit assumption that the initial ACMilanNYC argument rests on – that voting in support of a racist, is condoning those views. By extension, the club, as represented by Mr. Galliani with his vote, are not racist, despite supporting Tavecchio.

4

 

At which point Ogo, another ACMilanNYC administrator, steps in noting the issue of perception, and clarifying that surely Mr. Gandini can see how this is seen as a bad image move for the club and likewise for the brand.

In reply, Mr. Gandini takes a tweet to reflect on the whole situation as it stands, saying that he feels “this” [can only assume he’s alluding to the twitter storm that has stirred around this interaction between a director and one of the largest fan bases of Milan] has been blown out of proportion, and that the discussion [or something else entirely? it’s not clear] has been a power struggle. Does he mean Tavecchio is personally having a good/bad personal struggle?

PA – Perhaps it is because Mr. Gandini has not clarified his position on why understanding Milan’s motivation behind voting for Tavecchio is more difficult than appears and why such support does not condone or even work against Milan’s previous work against racism. Mr Gandini denied that it is these things, but has not provided further explanations, further egging on questions of transparency from the fans, who want to assume it’s more than corruption or self-preservation of the highest order. But then Mr. Gandini makes a strange comment, “Who is good, who is bad?” Well, if we’re casting shades of gray, the Milan management don’t look to good by comparison, but in most people’s books, people who make racist and sexist remarks then downplay the significance of the surrounding situation are popularly seen as more bad than good. Granted, if you want to pose the question on an first year university course, sure, how do we know what is good and bad in the world? However, use your personal sense of intuition and it’s not too difficult to be able to make a personal “good/bad” judgement about almost anyone. Why make the point, then? If it’s about who, among the FIGC candidates, is good and bad, does that mean that his competitor, Albertini, another ex-Milan figure, is bad? Or is no one bad because no one is good? “Who is good, who is bad” really shows a disconnect between Mr. Gandini’s perception of the situation and ACMilanNYC fan position. You don’t need to question the philosophic foundations of “what is good” to pass a judgment on someone who makes comments of the nature that Tavecchio made. If Mr. Gandini doesn’t see how what the perception is based on, then we have a larger problem, as he’s arguably one of the two most community-involved members of Milan’s upper management.

5

 

ACMilanNYC appeal to Mr. Gandini as an intelligent person, who “deep down” is able to make a moral judgment on Tavecchio. They also say that Milan should be in accordance with the good [as such, stand for the good, fight the evil, etc].

Mr. Gandini repeats his earlier comments that the issue is more complex, but that despite his insistence that it is more complex, is not the focus of this line of communication.

6

Ogo returns with a comment equating the difference between Kevin Prince Boateng’s stand against racism, and Galliani voting for Tavecchio as opposites. He implores Mr. Gandini, even if he doesn’t agree to see how they could be construed as in opposition.

Mr. Gandini reiterates – voting for Tavecchio is not pro-racism. It is not related to racism in any way. Rather, it is a question of point of view [presumably “the issue of point of view” is with regard to the support of Tavecchio]

PA – Initial Thoughts:

1. Mr. Gandini doesn’t feel that Twitter is a suitable medium for discussing an issue as complex as Tavecchio.

  •  This begs the question, with no transparency, and no communication from management and fans, what IS the forum for this sort of discussion? Is there no discussion outside of this?

2. Mr. Gandini believes that Milan voting for Tavecchio in the election is a complex matter as well as one that also was not related to racism.

3. Mr. Gandini does not see the correlation between “fans think supporting a racist candidate reflects poorly on the institution” and the image of AC Milan as a club against racism

Here is the conversation in full:

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 5.47.44 PMScreen Shot 2014-08-12 at 3.44.19 PM

 

 

About Pete Acquaviva

Pete writes about Milan on this blog. Occasionally other things. You would know which of them it is if you've gotten this far.

11 Thoughts on “ACMilan Club of NYC v. Umberto Gandini: A Breakdown of Arguments

  1. Maximillian Ani on August 12, 2014 at 10:18 PM said:

    As a black guy from Nigeria, I think you people is taking this racism thing out of proportion. This is a vote for football mgt, will you vote for a bad football manager sorely because he did not say what he believes in public? Albertini might even be a worse racist than Tavecchio, if Tavecchio is the man to take Italian football forward better than Albertini, why not vote for him, it is better to go backwards and please some ears. Funnily some of us picking on this are more racist than the man.

    About been sexist, the west have arrogated so much powers to women that the men are tied to their loins. A woman can slap a man and get away with it – ala Solange/Jay-z, come to think of it, Solange hitting Jay-Z is a hilarious media story. Chris Brown hitting Rihanna was career ruining. Gender equality is a funny thing at times.

    Lets move on from this and worry about how to make Milan a winning team.

    • RossoneriFido on August 13, 2014 at 1:09 AM said:

      You said that the voting has nothing to do with racism and it is strictly based on football ideas to move with Italy forward. You know as follower of Milanand Serie A that many players are being racially abused by curvas right? Do you think that they will stop knowing that the man in charge is no different from them? How can the FA punish them?
      I don’t believe the issue is being blown out of proportion and I agree with Pete Milan should have at least clarified the issue publicly but of course they won’t.

      • Maximillian Ani on August 13, 2014 at 1:32 PM said:

        How has the Spanish FA punished the banana throwing fans or clubs? I feel anything Serie A is blown out of proportion. I read a lot from the English press e.g Goal.com and their representation of anything Italian is reprehensible. I feel a lot of us English speaking people are buying into that already.

        • RossoneriFido on August 13, 2014 at 4:28 PM said:

          In Spain they arrested the racist man who threw the banana on Alves and fined Villareal but that is not my point.
          How can we fight racism in football and especially in Italy when the man in charge is a racist?

    • PDAcquaviva on August 13, 2014 at 9:02 AM said:

      Hi Maximillian, thanks for reading, it’s much appreciated.

      Regarding your points, I want to begin with “Albertini might even be a worse racist than Tavecchio”. First of all, there’s no way to verify that isn’t true. As you say, he could be worse, maybe he is. The problem is that Tavecchio DID say the things he said. He DID make disparaging quotes to women (regardless of the context of relations between the sexes you feel society has now – historically women have always had the short end of the stick) and he did liken his persecution for those two issues to the man who killed JFK. I’m not saying he’s racist, but if we don’t get rid of the people who DO say racist things, especially during an active election!, then what does that say about our ability to influence policy and make our voices heard? As the majority of fans were offended and deeply bothered by the remarks and felt they reflected poorly upon the club, it is understandable that they are confused as to why Tavecchio was chosen.

      • PDAcquaviva on August 13, 2014 at 9:03 AM said:

        Maybe you believe the fans shouldn’t have a voice. Maybe you believe that the club acts in the best interest of the club. Or acts in the best interest of the fans. Or in the best interests of the players maybe. But they club has been a long-way off the rails on several key issues now, and the Tavecchio thing just slots in line with the series of questionable decisions Milan as an organization has been making for the better part of a decade.

      • Maximillian Ani on August 13, 2014 at 1:29 PM said:

        Thanks for heaving the time to read my views. That’s wonderful of you. I am not supporting his comments, all I am saying is that these things are somehow blown out of proportion if it happens in Italy. I bet you had the banana throwing that happened in La liga, Spain happened in Serie A, then the whole world would have shutdown the country.
        What I expect those of you that have wide followership and readership is to support your own. Don’t join the English angle of the press to rundown Serie A.
        There is so much negativity going on already.
        Also voting in an election is based on so many other principles, you only vote to what gives you maximum benefits, you can hardly get perfect fit.
        So if Tavecchio gives 70% benefit, I will vote him and I am a black.

  2. this kind of election is merely about politics, there’s something that Tavecchio can offer that at the moment Albertini can’t. I’m actually surprise that Albertini who is still green in this politic side of football is having a go at this.
    People should aware of this kind of situation, politics is often a complex manner, off course racism is not something that should be supported. However, discussion like this should not be done in this manner, it’s a complex issue and should be properly addressed in a much respectable way instead of ranting out to mr Gandini on twitter.

    • PDAcquaviva on August 13, 2014 at 8:56 AM said:

      Thanks for reading and commenting – I want to make sure I understand your position here: You’re saying that Tavecchio’s election is merely about politics. This is fine, and no one is arguing this. The question becomes, do his racist comments affect the politics? Should it? I believe it should, however, you’re welcome to argue whichever viewpoint you want – this isn’t an open and shut issue.

      Part of the concern is the lack of transparency on several decisions, not even necessarily this one. Mr. Gandini is often seen as the voice of transparency, replying to fans and journalists on Twitter and yet we see no communication otherwise between fans and management. This is why perhaps, there was some extra feeling behind getting answers RIGHT NOW from Mr. Gandini.

      • I don’t disagree with your views about that racist remarks, just simply saying that in politics this kind of things often happen especially when there’s already some dealing going on before hand. I don’t really know the political situation of Italian football, just talking about politics in general.

        Well, I merely saying some of the words directed towards Mr. Gandini were too harsh. The political side of everything is always complex and messy, it’s very unlikely he can share them publicly as it might have something that’s not directly related with Milan as a football club.
        Again not that I’m disagreeing with your opinion, just kind of feel that some of the words directed to Mr. Gandini were rather harsh :)

  3. Pouya Zaker on August 14, 2014 at 4:27 AM said:

    An interesting aspect of all this “Tavecchio” saga is that European based fans seem less offended than Americans or at least that’s the feeling I get. Related to the continents history vs racism? I also don’t believe Tavecchio meant his statement in a racist way, he is just way too clumsy in his statements as he further proved it later (which should have been the major reason not to elect him)

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