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Roma owner apologizes to Ciro's mother for fans' banners

James Pallotta has apologized to Antonella Leardi for the actions of Roma fans toward her on Saturday.

Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

The owner of AS Roma, American-Italian businessman James Pallotta, is rarely afraid to go toe-to-toe with someone in a war of words. This time, though, he's taking a gentler path, and looks all the better for it.

As you probably know by now, on Saturday Roma fans showed off some rather awful banners targeted at Antonella Leardi, the mother of slain Napoli fan Ciro Esposito. Pallotta condemned their actions publicly, then took the time to personally contact Ms Leardi to apologize for what those fans did.

"[Pallotta] apologized for what happened and said he was incensed," Ciro's mother told the media when asked about what had been done in the wake of the incident. "I was pleased with his call, it was a nice gesture."

According to Ms Leardi, Pallotta also offered to help support the "Ciro Vive" organization she's putting together, an initiative aimed at, among other things, trying to stem the tide of the kind of fan violence that lead to the death of her son. It's a wonderful gesture, and hopefully one that can eventually lead to meaningful change and improvement in what's becoming a very troubling time when it comes to fan culture in football.