Kevin-Prince Boateng’s anti-racism message (Part 2)
What kind of racism do you suffer in everyday life?
Racism in Europe is more hidden, people are hiding and not showing it show much. When they are in bigger groups they feel more comfortable to shout.
People change sides when I’m walking on the street, look at me funny when I’m in my car. Police stop me for no reason, it happens so many times maybe because I’m a black guy with tattoos and a nice car they think I am a criminal.
I’ve worked my all my life to be a footballer but you just judge me for what I look like? It was worse when I was growing up.
Is society doing enough?
Of course not. We have to talk, we have to be louder. We have to use [social media], today it is the biggest platform. People might say I only have 100 followers, well maybe you can influence 50 of them. Even showing you as a white person are with us, that gives us so much power. We believe you are with us so we can go forward with a bigger chest.
No one is doing enough. #BlackOutTuesday is not enough, it’s too easy. Because people are scared to stand for something, to say something because of sponsors or large followings. A black picture is way too easy.
It’s a beautiful message but I’m mad because people have it so easy. If you ever point a finger at them they’ll say ‘but I posted that picture’. [The picture alone] does not mean anything to me.
Are players actually afraid of losing sponsorship and followers by speaking out?
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.
How important is it to be proactive rather than reactive?
This is what I always say since 2013 when it happened to me. We only do things when there is a catastrophe, when something bad happens. I’ve been working since that day, every chance I get, every platform I have I try to say it’s still there. I don’t want George Floyd to be forgotten after a week.
In Australia the forests burnt down, we were all sad, of course I’m going to share that. Can you see the impact that has? How many people were behind it, posting, giving interviews, donating. It was a big wave, we were proud, you could see humanity sticking together for the love of earth.
Love black people the same way. If I compare them, where is the big wave? I’m waiting for the people with the big followers. These are the ones that can make real change, I try but by just talking you can give us strength to go forward.