The past few days since Davide Astori’s passing have been a rough time for football fans and Italians alike. The 31-year-old center back was not only a captain for many but also a close friend.
From Saponara to Gianluigi Buffon, many of his fellow countrymen have come out with touching tributes. For the most part, the media has done a great job respecting his memory. Some outlets, however, have not given Astori the same level of respect the situation commanded.
When the news first broke that Astori had suddenly passed away it instantly became an international story. While many news outlets did their job and reported the story appropriately others did not follow suit. The ones that stood out the most were the headlines by “The Sun” and “The Manchester Evening News”. Both websites used the tragedy as an opportunity to increase their website traffic.
The headlines they used were vague and were intentionally done so to make a reader visit their site for further information. Some examples of these vague headlines were, “International footballer dies at age 31” and “Matteo Darmian will have woken up to some terrible news”. To use his tragedy for such an insignificant thing as page views is truly vile. It was not only pathetic but also utterly disrespectful to Davide Astori and his loved ones.
Another part of this situation that is truly perplexing is that two major new sites could review those headlines and not see the issue. Especially in Astori’s situation where countless are affected by this tragedy. It goes beyond his friends and family it extends to Fiorentina and across national borders. With that in mind papers and websites that publish articles must show compassion for those affected.
Publishing such a disrespectful article shows the total disregard for Astori and his loved ones. Among his immediate friends and family are his long-term girlfriend and their two-year-old daughter Vittoria. What they must be going through is inexplicable and the last thing they need is a website taking advantage of Astori’s memory. When reporting a sensitive topic like that of Astori’s the least you could do is respect those grieving. The fact that this was not the single most important thing to either of those sites is very telling.
These websites were surely not the only ones who handled the tragic news in such a lowly fashion. Hopefully, any other site that did the same received the criticism they were due. To be able to handle such a delicate situation so poorly is quite a feat. At a certain point, it really comes down to being out of touch with reality. Any in touch person could see the impact that would have. One could only hope that they learned their lesson from this situation and do not make this grave mistake in the future. Not for sake of the website but for the sake of Astori’s family and any family that has to endure such a tragedy in a future.
The news outlets that are responsible for the articles should feel overwhelming shame. It cannot reverse the damage they’ve already caused. However, you can only get so mad over something like this. No matter how inexcusable, all it really does is divert attention from the one thing that is important. That is Astori’s Legacy. Now I could go into great detail about Astori’s legacy and what he meant to Italian football. However, I won’t. Instead, I implore you to look at something that is even more telling about Astori. Look at the way his teammates and other players talked about the man. If you truly want to get a sense of who he was and what his legacy is, look at the tributes written about him. That is all you need to know about Astori.
“A great player and an even greater person”- Radja Nainggolan