Juventus sends out braindead Ronaldo tweets days after rape allegations resurface

Joey Gulino

In light of the #MeToo movement that has gained rightful steam over the past couple years, companies and franchises and brands have treated serious allegations very carefully.

Juventus … well, you tell us what they just did.

The Italian giants, who have won almost twice as many Serie A titles as their next-closest competitor, made the decision to not only defend their latest superstar Cristiano Ronaldo against a reopened rape allegation, filed by 34-year-old American Kathryn Mayorga, but to do so in authoritative terms.

(Sporting News)
(Sporting News)

Yeah. Yikes.

Here’s what the club said publicly on Thursday, almost a week after the case resurfaced:

“Great professionalism.” “Dedication.” “Great champion.”

On face value, none of that is technically incorrect. Ronaldo is arguably the greatest soccer player of all time, and you definitely don’t get to that level by slouching with regard to your work ethic or commitment or competitive fire.

That said, it’s discomforting for the club to issue such a decisive statement, one way or the other. It would be very easy for Juventus to say it supports Ronaldo through the process and will wait for more facts before further comment.

It would also be fair. Ronaldo has not been convicted of the horrific allegation. He seems to have built a transactional relationship with several women over the years, but that’s hardly enough to label him as anything worse than a celebrity who takes advantage of the beneficiary lifestyle accorded to all manner of famous people.

But that’s not really the point here. Everyone is entitled to innocence until proven guilt. Nobody’s sentencing Ronaldo without further evidence.

That said, there’s a level of sensitivity that should come with it, a decorum that treats accusers with the respect and belief that decades of research and examples have proven they deserve.

It’s far past time for the populace at large to respect female victims of sexual assault, to respect their claims, and to respect their right to make them without being doubted and smeared at every turn.

The tweets from Juventus, however on-brand they might be (via whatever twisted definition you want to assign to that), don’t ring that loud and clear. Instead, they signal the sad truth of the world we live in, that rich and famous people will be far more protected and appreciated than the people they might have violated.

We’ll see how this plays out. And in the meantime, we’ll see how much more tone-deaf one of the giants of world soccer can be.

Joey Gulino is the editor of FC Yahoo and moonlights as a writer. Follow him on Twitter at @JGulinoYahoo.