Kevin-Prince Boateng’s anti-racism message (Part 3)
Are you happy with FIFA’s ‘common sense’ directive over player protests?
Of course. If it is an important message that can help change people’s mind they should not be scared.
Politics and religion is a part of us. We are all divided, everyone has a different religions and thinks differently so I can understand [trying to stop those messages] because we have big platforms and someone might have a message to just ‘their people’.
If you bring out a message like [Jadon] Sancho did, it is totally different, we should not talk about this being on the same level. This is not the same, he did something for the human race, it is beyond politics and religion.
Are the current level of fines and sanctions by football authorities enough to deter racist behaviour?
For me it is a joke. At the beginning I thought it could work but people feel too comfortable, they can sit there and shout the n-word at us. The policeman felt comfortable kneeling on [Floyd’s] neck. That’s the problem, they feel comfortable because there are no consequences.
What is the consequence? You cannot go to the stadium no more, fine no problem. A fine of $35,000 [for a club]? What is that? That’s why people are comfortable.
‘I want to a day on which no black player goes to 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.
Could that be something all right-thinking people get involved in?
Of course. Imagine what a message it would be if white people stick with us, if they said ‘I won’t go to practice’ or ‘I won’t go to work’ or ‘I won’t play’. Imagine it’s on a Saturday, the day of a game, that would be a big message.
I’m trying to think of answers – putting cameras and speakers inside the stadium so you can point out who is that person. I’m trying to do something because nothing is happening. There’s always just something tragic happening – and then it’s too late.
‘I will be your Muhammad Ali’[Completing a potential move to the US to play in MLS] wouldn’t change a thing. I would be the same person. I would fight the same, because I’m numb now. It hurts me but it doesn’t touch me now, I’m strong enough to deal with it.
Maybe that would be the perfect thing for me to play there right now – to make a statement to give something back to show the people that I’m on the frontline, that I will be your front guy – I will be your Muhammad Ali. He always said ‘I will be there, I’m more than a boxer’. I want to be more than a boxer. There’s a hundred players better than me, faster than me, I will fight for something bigger.
Even if I change two minds, three, one hundred – that’s in my power. America, Germany, Italy, France, England – everywhere there is racism so it doesn’t matter where I play. I will always play for the right thing.
Would you like to see more players walk off?
It was a powerful image and still is now. But I think even now people are scared they are going to get sanctioned.