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Gattuso denies racist, homophobic accusations

Gennaro Gattuso denies being racist and homophobic as Spurs talks break down

July 6, 2021 By Michelle Bonsu
The former AC Milan and Napoli manager, who recently resigned from his post at Fiorentina, had hoped to return to the fold by becoming Tottenham's latest gaffer.

As we all know, Tottenham recently announced that their new manager for the 2021/2022 season - and perhaps beyond - will be former Wolves boss Nuno. The Portuguese tactician signed a two year contract at the end of last month as Spurs executives hope he will be the man to revive their fortunes and help them to succeed on multiple fronts.

But before that, Tottenham had drawn up a short-list of candidates, and that includes Gennaro Gattuso. The Italian midfielder, who was part of the Azzurri squad that won the 2006 World Cup, also had enjoyed a great deal of club success with AC Milan. He would go on to manage the Rossoneri, as well as Napoli, before ending up at Fiorentina, where he resigned abruptly after less than a month following reported disputes with Fiorentina's hierarchy regarding transfers.

However, Gattuso's candidacy for the Tottenham post was short-lived after reports indicated that Spurs had pulled the plug on negotiations with his team.

The reason? Fans pulled up some old comments he'd made in the past that could be viewed as racist, sexist, and homophobic. And in this currently very woke era, many are finding that past statements will come back to haunt them as there is an increased zero-tolerance for anything that's not considered politically correct (PC). So, not surprisingly, a #NoToGattuso hashtag was created on Twitter and was rabidly circulated to express fans' displeasure at having him as the team's potential manager. And according to ESPN, this social media uproar was enough to convince Spurs that sticking with him as an option would cause more harm than good.

Gattuso, predictably, has vehemently denied being anti anything, and in fact, in an interview with Italian publication La Repubblica claimed that perhaps some of his combative behavior on the pitch could've sunk his prospects more than any comments some may view as offensive or inappropriate.

"I [find it hard] to believe that was the reason the move to Tottenham didn't happen," Gattuso told La Repubblica of his controversial past comments. "More likely, the image of my argument [in February 2011] with Joe Jordan, their then assistant manager, still remains for their fans".

Gattuso and Jordan seen here fighting while the former was playing for Milan during the 2010/2011 season

"[But] I am certainly not racist, nor sexist nor homophobic: previous statements of mine have been misrepresented. [You should] ask my ex-teammates and players I have managed about my relationship with them."

Now again out of a job, it's back to the drawing board Gatusso, who won the Coppa Italia with Napoli in 2020. It naturally remains to be seen whether he'll find a new position before the upcoming season starts, or if this episode will damage his chances at finding meaningful employment elsewhere. 

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