Soccer fans all around the world witnessed one of the most bizarre sights of the season Thursday night when Italian giants AC Milan — or at least some guys wearing their uniforms — brazenly performed a haka dance before their match against Carpi F.C.
The cringe-inducing dance video shows a host of actors, dressed up to look like members of the historic soccer club, take the field and break into a bad imitation of the tribal dance most prominently performed by New Zealand rugby teams.
Apart from being culturally and traditionally offensive, what made the whole thing even worse was the fact that it was a marketing ploy for global skincare company Nivea, a sponsor of the club. Signs around the stadium displayed the words “Men, this is your ritual,” as the performers mockingly scrubbed their faces and body and washed their hands.
Unsurprisingly, fans utterly disgusted by the inappropriate and ill-advised haka performance took no time to lambaste the soccer club on social media:
for some reason AC Milan saw fit to perform a haka before their match overnight. i expect NZ to declare war on Italy https://t.co/xZANcJcKNO— Vince Rugari (@VinceRugari) April 21, 2016
AC Milan need to be deducted a good 30 points if not banned from football permanently after that pre match haka. Sickening.— Jack Proctor (@Jproctor96) April 21, 2016
From Maldini, Baresi, Van Basten and Costacurta to the Nivea Haka... RIP AC Milan. pic.twitter.com/IQ4wACB5ph— Si (@SmnLlyd5) April 21, 2016
That AC Milan haka was genuinely an advertisement for Nivea. What has football become?— Nick Benney (@nick_benney) April 21, 2016
Ac Milan have gone from the best team in the world to performing the Haka for money in just 11 years. Very sad pic.twitter.com/hfHiXkdYtx— Round The Bend (@ROUNDTHEBEND__) April 21, 2016
The Twitterati were quick to point out that appropriating another culture’s serious custom for a humorous publicity stunt was just unacceptable.
The fact that AC Milan just did the Haka as an advertising stunt is absolutely comical and a complete mockery of the club.— Alex Mascitti (@IFDMascitti) April 21, 2016
AC Milan doing the Haka towards Carpi tonight..— Uber Chelsea FC (@UberCheIseaFC) April 21, 2016
What has football come to..
AC Milan players doing the haka, what a time to be dead...— Harsh (@SimplyVanPersie) April 21, 2016
AC Milan doing the haka before a league game against Carpi is one of the strangest things I've seen this year. https://t.co/YAGQfmB07v— dave (@dvesc) April 21, 2016
That AC Milan Haka pic.twitter.com/12s4QLU3HE— Dani Gladdy (@RealDaniGladdy) April 21, 2016
Ac Milan doing a haka for nivea to earn money highlights everything that is wrong with football nowadays— daniel birds (@daniel_birds) April 21, 2016
What a sad, sad day for soccer.
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