Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 6/25/12

A cartoon image appearing in the Italian Gazetta dello Sport publication before Sunday’s Italy-England match at Euro 2012 depicted Italian soccer star Mario Balotelli as King Kong.

The cartoon shows Balotelli hanging on England’s iconic Big Ben swatting soccer balls. It seems like the message is that Balotelli will help Italy destroy England in the match.

They ended up winning 4-2 on penalty kicks to advance to the semifinals.

Usually it’s Balotelli who needs to be muzzled from saying something stupid, but in this case, Gazetta did something much more offensive than anything Balotelli could have said.

I really don’t see how they could have published this without realizing there might be a problem. A radio host was recently fired for a similar offense, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see someone at the publication reprimanded for the cartoon.

Image via Cristiano Balducci h/t Darren Rovell

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