AC Milan striker Deborah Salvatori Rinaldi has spoken at the webinar of “Parole O_Stili“, alongside Honorary Vice-President Franco Baresi, CCO Pier Donato Vercellone and CEO Ivan Gazidis.
Here are her statements:
On the Principle n. 9 of the Manifesto of non-hostile communication for Sport: "Insults are not arguments"
"It struck me more for almost the banality of the situation, in the sense that, in my opinion, there should not even be the problem of this issue because my parents have taught me, since I was little, that we can’t do anything alone, so I am used to not judge or put a label on anyone, doesn’t matter how the person looks, so this is a premise on my education and I think it should be so for everyone. In sports, I consider myself an athlete, a professional athlete, but first of all, I’m a human being. I wake up in the morning, I make sacrifices, I chose football, I chose this job, I face problems, issues and joy every day, things that this sport brings, injuries, my relationship with my teammates. I do a lot of sacrifices, having to stay away from my family, all these things related to the sport here and then. I carry those things during my performances, I think that on the other side there is someone like me, wearing a different shirt but who still made a version of my own path, if not worse or little better, you know? Life is made of choices, of living up to them. I have come to wear these colors that I love, but someone like me has made other choices and now she wears different colors, so, for me, you must respect the athlete and the person because there are so many stories, so many sacrifices. So, for me it is really a point that almost should not exist."
On respecting her colleagues and peers:
"I think is the beauty of football, this diversity. Because not the whole world can be a milanista, not the whole world can be Neapolitan. so, this it's nice to respect and be respected. In my opinion, football must be dealt this way, you have to respect everybody involved, we must respect the referees, because they are also working hard, there is so much involved, so many people behind, there is a whole world and the game, the match itself is just the tip of the iceberg. I really do not see the reason not to respect another athlete."
On how to deal with social media backlash in style:
"To represent a great club I think everyone can imagine what it means, but I have to say the truth, even to represent a club a little smaller at world level, because we all know what Milan means, you have to follow the style of your club, your own style and be an ethical person. Personally, what I do is to try to convey the Milan style, I hope to succeed, so with the ethical and moral values that we are here today to repeat, to reiterate and I think we must be aware that social media are not to be used too casually. Unfortunately, it is a beautiful thing, you must be yourself, but you still have to be hold accountable of what you say. If I receive an insult, I cannot just answer, like anybody else, in 5 seconds. I must count to 10 and then up to 100 because of the impression I’m sending by doing this recklessly. We have to take into account because the words carry a heavy weight, and I do not know who I am going to argue with, who I am going to offend because, maybe, since social medias are a double-edged sword, even negative things are amplified and instead we have to take advantage of this thing of amplifying the positive messages, the good things. This is how I respond to insults on the pitch or performance criticism, I genuinely don't take them seriously. "
On speaking out on important issues:
"I don’t agree with mutism. For example on the big issues, such as racism, sexism etc, that we have been fighting against, we have to weigh up but, in my opinion, we must speak up, give them an answer and this, today's live, to me, is an answer no negative things"
Photo credits: acmilan.com