He explained that a lot of players don’t stand up against racial abuse because they are afraid to do so and he used himself as an example.
Kevin-Prince Boateng openly boycotted a game after he had been abused racially to protest against it during his time at AC Milan in 2013.
He has said that it a high time every player stands up against racial abuse whenever they fall victim to it and has called for a George Floyd Day when players will not play.
“It is a difficult situation. Other than being sad, I am angry. It just hurts always coming back to the same feeling. It’s very difficult for me right now,” Boateng told Sky Sports
And Boateng feels powerful black stars can send a powerful message by setting aside a day when they stay out of work. “Do one thing, take every black person out of sports and every black actor out of the movies and how is it going to be? Boring. I want to get a day that no black player goes to work, maybe on George Floyd’s birthday. Not because we don’t want to work or disrespect our club but to honour our black community.”
The former Tottenham, AC Milan and Barcelona star knows there are complications for sportsmen in standing up against racism but wants them to toughen up. “I can understand because it is an uncomfortable position. Many people think if I share, repost or say something wrong I will lose my sponsorship. They have to become comfortable. This is something bigger than a sponsor or anything like that. In the moment if you say the wrong words, but you mean the right thing, you will never do wrong when you try to help the human race.”
Boateng was born to a Ghanaian father and German mother says he has had to consistently deal with racism but he got his awakening while at Milan when he was abused in a friendly game and walked off.
“It was a powerful image and still is now. But I think even now people are scared they are going to get sanctioned,” he said about that day in 2013.
“When I was young I always tried to ignore racism and swallow it. When I talk to people now [who knew me then], they say ‘back in the day you never felt like this, you cried, went home and never said anything’. I tell them [that is] because I was a coward. I wasn’t strong enough and did not believe in what I wanted to do.
“I’m not a coward anymore. That was the moment when I was fed up, it was enough. I felt sad, angry, I hated the world. I wanted to show the world I’m not going to let them do that to me anymore. After what I have been through, what I have sacrificed. You won’t judge me because of the colour of my skin,” he added in a powerful message.
George Floyd was the African American who was choked to death by a police officer in the United States of America.
Sports personalities, celebrities and people from all walks of life have shown solidarity with Floyd and have called for justice for him.