Ending racism - How will Kevin-Prince Boateng's walk-off change sports in Europe and elsewhere?
In my view this is big. The soccer player Kevin-Prince Boateng of AC Milan left an ongoing game after being racially abused by spectators during Milan’s friendly against fourth division side Pro Patria in northern Italy. His whole team supported him and walked off as well.
I think it was an awesome and heroic decision.
Italy is not the only country where racism in soccer is a major issue. Even worse is the situation in Serbia. Of course you will always have individual racist idiots in any stadium, but the question is how other spectators react. Do they oppose this? Support this? Remain silent?
There have been minor incidents in Germany as well over the past few years, but it’s no longer a big problem. About 15 years ago the presidents of all major German soccer clubs said this: If every club has at least one great black player, racism will stop inside the stadium. It seems to be working. Scouts go to Africa all the time trying to identify and recruit talented players. Every German club now has several black players. Many of them are totally awesome impressing everyone including troubled young men susceptible to racism. They learned to love their heroes from Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory-Coast. Kevin-Prince Boateng’s brother plays for Bayern München, by the way. He’s a great player too.
So what will come out of all this? Do you agree what happened in Italy yesterday will make sports history? How significant is it in your view?
What is the situation in the United States? In England? Elsewhere?
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