Support for Italy’s Giorgia Meloni leads Nebraska punter to delete tweet, offer apology

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A Nebraska punter was forced to issue an apology on Tuesday after expressing favorable support for newly elected Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Brian Buschini, a sophomore from Montana, tweeted something about Meloni without “knowing the background” of the politician. He said a headline he read made it seem she was in support of family values.

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Leader of Brothers of Italy Giorgia Meloni reacts at the party’s election night headquarters in Rome Sept. 26, 2022.
(Reuters/Guglielmo Mangiapane)

“I want to take the time to apologize for a tweet I posted yesterday,” his statement read. “I saw a headline from a speech the new Prime Minister of Italy made that seemed to support Christianity and family values. I unfortunately tweeted about this without knowing the background or history of this politician or the movement she is involved with. In no way do I support facism (sic) or racism in any form. I apologize for posting without understanding the reality of what I was posting about.”

Buschini deleted the original tweet.

Brian Buschini's original tweet.

Brian Buschini’s original tweet.

Meloni, a member of the Brothers of Italy Party, had one of her speeches from 2019 go viral ahead of her win in the weekend’s election, OutKick noted.

Cornhuskers punter Brian Buschini kicks against the Georgia Southern Eagles at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 10, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Cornhuskers punter Brian Buschini kicks against the Georgia Southern Eagles at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 10, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
(Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

“Why is the family an enemy? Why is the family so frightening? There is a single answer to all these questions. Because it defines us. Because it is our identity. Because everything that defines us is now an enemy for those who would like us to no longer have an identity and to simply be perfect consumer slaves,” she says in the speech.

“And so they attack national identity, they attack religious identity, they attack gender identity, they attack family identity. I can’t define myself as Italian, Christian, woman, mother. No. I must be Citizen X, Gender X, Parent 1, Parent 2. I must be a number. Because when I am only a number, when I no longer have an identity or roots, then I will be the perfect slave at the mercy of financial speculators. The perfect consumer.”

Meloni has been described as being a “far-right” politician due to her affiliation with the Brothers of Italy Party, which is said to have neo-fascist roots. The party will need to form a coalition with her main allies, anti-migrant league leader Matteo Salvini and conservative former Premier Silvio Berlusconi to command a solid majority in Parliament.

Brothers of Italy's leader Giorgia Meloni speaks to the media at her party's electoral headquarters in Rome early Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.

Brothers of Italy’s leader Giorgia Meloni speaks to the media at her party’s electoral headquarters in Rome early Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.
(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

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Assembling a viable, ruling coalition in Italy could take weeks, however. Nearly 51 million Italians were eligible to vote Sunday. Despite Europe’s many crises, many voters told pollsters that they feel alienated from politics. Italy has had three governments since the last election — each led by someone who had not run for office.

Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

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