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

Brian Bushini, a sophomore from Montana, tweeted something about Meloni “without knowing the background” of the politician. He said one of the headlines he read seemed to support family values.

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Brothers of Italy leader Giorgia Meloni reacts at the party’s election night headquarters in Rome on September 26, 2022.
(Reuters / Guglielmo Mangiapan)

“I want to take the time to apologize for the tweet I posted yesterday,” his statement read. “I saw a headline from a speech by Italy’s new prime minister that seemed to support Christianity and family values. I unfortunately tweeted about this without knowing the politician’s background or history or the movement she is associated with. No way. I don’t have any In form that advocates fascism (sic) or racism. I apologize for posting without understanding the reality of what I was posting.”

Bushini deleted the original tweet.

Original tweet by Brian Bushini.

Original tweet by Brian Bushini.

A 2019 speech by Meloni, a member of the Brothers of Italy party, went viral before her victory in the weekend election, Outkick noted.

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

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

“Why is the family the enemy? Why is the family so scary? There is only one answer to all these questions. Because it defines us. Because it is our identity. Because everything that defines us is now an enemy to anyone who likes it. We no longer have an identity and Just to be the perfect customer slave,” she says in the speech.

“And so they attack national identity, they attack religious identity, they attack gender identity, they attack family identity. I cannot define myself as Italian, Christian, woman, mother. No. I am citizen X, gender X. , must be a parent. 1, parent 2. I must be a number. Because when I’m just a number, when I have no identity or origin, I’m a perfect slave at the mercy of financial speculators. A perfect consumer.”

Meloni has been described as a “far-right” politician due to his affiliation with the Brothers of Italy party, which has neo-fascist roots. To secure a solid majority in parliament, the party would have to form a coalition with its main allies, anti-immigrant League leader Matteo Salvini and conservative former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Italy's leader Giorgia Meloni's brother speaks to the media at his party's election headquarters in Rome, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.

Italy’s leader Giorgia Meloni’s brother speaks to the media at his party’s election headquarters in Rome, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.
(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

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However, assembling a viable, governing coalition in Italy could take weeks. About 51 million Italians were eligible to vote on Sunday. Despite the many crises in Europe, many voters told pollsters they feel disconnected from politics. Italy has had three coalition governments since the last election – each led by someone who did not run for office.

Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

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