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Moral concerns with sponsor holds up Bargnani to Italy

Oct 19, 2011, 10:44 AM EDT

Andrea+Bargnani Getty Images

For maybe the first time ever, the Vatican may be holding up a basketball signing.

We told you yesterday that Virtus Roma was close to signing Andrea Bargnani because they had found a sponsor to pick up the tab — AshleyMadison.com. For those unfamiliar, it is a site designed to help spouses looking to cheat find each other and hook up.

Sportando reports the obvious — that doesn’t fly well in the heavily Catholic nation.

The deal to bring back to Italy and Virtus Roma, Andrea Bargnani is done. But the owner of the Italian team, Claudio Toti, did not say YES yet. The biggest problem is ethics. In a country where Vatican has big influence in any aspect of life (politics included), having as sponsor AshleyMadison.com, a website who promotes infidelity, is not easy. And Vatican City is also next to Virtus Roma facilities (the arena where the team is playing is also the main gym of the club).

AshleyMadison just launched its Italian version, in case you were wondering.

Bargnani has put up a lot of points (21.4 a game last season) while not really impressing a lot of people in Toronto. But he has four years and upwards of $40 million left on his contract, so they need an amnesty clause in the new labor deal or they are stuck with him.

Frankly, I just find the whole thing funny. Unless my wife reads this post, in which case I officially find this morally outrageous.

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