Over the last 24 hours or so the world has been talking about Kevin-Prince Boateng. The Ac Milan footballer was involved in a friendly football game yesterday against Pro Paria, in which he was subjected to racial chants from the crowd. In the 26th minute Boateng kicked the ball out of play and proceeded to take his shirt off and walk off the pitch being followed by his team mates. I think Boateng took a stand that needed to be taken, there needed to be a player that didn’t just threaten to walk off but someone who actually followed through and led by example. The fact that his team mates were in full support and joined him was great to see too.
There were a lot of people discussing the incident yesterday and I actually was shocked to see that some people thought he should have stayed on the pitch and ignored it, saying that he let the racists win. He didn’t let the racists win, in fact he punished them because they didn’t get to see the rest of the game. I wonder whether any of these people would take being racially abused at work? I think not. I don’t think staying on the pitch would have benefitted the other 3 players that were also racially abused during the game.
I think this incident has been long time coming and I don’t think anyone should have endure racial abuse directed towards them when they are on a pitch playing football for fans to watch. If you are racist it’s simple don’t go to the game. That is a much better solution that lowering yourself to a level of stupidity that ends up resulting in a game getting called off. Racists are people who don’t know any better and compromise their intelligence everyday so treat them like that, they don’t get to see the football if they can’t respect the players playing.
I wholeheartedly admire Boateng for walking off that pitch yesterday, he set an example that all of the football world should sit up and take notice of, especially FIFA. I really hope that Boateng has paved way for a change in football, I hope that other footballers everywhere will see that they are supported by everyone and not only players. Many people in the football world united yesterday in their support of Boateng and that was brilliant to see. There has always been a mixed reaction in the discussion of ‘walk-offs’ prior to yesterday but I think this may be that moment where it could possibly seen as a more positive thing.
Last year was marred by racist events in football and the football governing body Fifa are completely failing to deal with the racism issue in a sufficient way. In 2012 Plantini said all players that walked off a pitch in the Euro’s due to racial abused would be booked and banned, does that sound like an organisation against racism? In 2013 you would hope that Fifa would have by now had a decent system in place to deal with racist fans and racism in general, but they seem to failing on the most important issue in football, makes me wonder what Blatter and Plantini do everyday in their big offices with their big salaries?