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Lorenzo Insigne jeered and taunted by Napoli fans at event

At an event near Dimaro last night, the local striker was insulted by members of the audience, then jeered when he refused to answer questions afterwards.

Claudio Villa

Strange tidings in Dimaro. Last night at a fan event, Lorenzo Insigne was part of a group of players available for questions and statements. Normally that would be something met eagerly by Napoli fans, as he's been the city's favorite son, especially after an excellent season in the first team this past year.

This time, though, he was not welcomed so warmly. The fans were still irritated by Italy's poor World Cup performance, and many turned on Insigne as the club's only representative in the side. It was hardly his fault; Insigne was only put on the pitch once by Cesare Prandelli, late on against Costa Rica when it was too little, too late, and the side failed despite his best efforts.

The fans repeatedly jeered Insigne, calling him scugnizzo (a local term for a street urchin) and monello (naughty child) as it came to be his turn to speak to the gathered audience. When offered the chance to speak, Insigne refused, and the crowd went from bad to worse.

After several minutes of boos, jeers, and some truly hideous words thrown at Insigne, a more reasonable portion of the crowd started chanting "Lorenzo, Lorenzo in support of the diminutive striker. Once the crowd was finally silenced after several more minutes, an incensed Aurelio De Laurentiis took the microphone.

"Do you want to win? I said that I win the championship together with you, I asked the fans to be close to this team when the players took the field and that they should always be applauded . It is depressing for a player to be challenged like this after a difficult time. If we want to win, I ask you to stand beside them. "

This treatment of Insigne by the fans, for something that isn't even remotely his fault, is infuriating. This is a player who always gives his all on the pitch, be it for the partenopei or for the Azzurri. To belittle and demean him in such a way at an event that is supposed to celebrate Napoli players is reprehensible, and those involved in what happened should be ashamed.

Napoli is where it is right now in very large part because of players like Lorenzo Insigne. Don't treat a hero of the city like garbage. Be better than that. Be the kind of fans this club deserves. Be amazing, be loud, be impressive. Don't be assholes.