AC Milan’s Kevin-Prince Boateng left to join the German Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04. It was racism that drove him to to leave Milan despite having helped them reach the Champions League by scoring in the second leg of a playoff.
“Because of the racist incidents, Boateng wanted to leave Italy,” Schalke’s chief financial officer Peter Peters has told SportBildPlus.. “He had an arrangement with president Silvio Berlusconi that he could leave if AC Milan qualified for the Champions League group stage.”
Originally Boateng didn’t make any reference to race relations when giving his reasoning for making the change.
ESPN FC recounts an incident in “early January, he walked off the pitch during a friendly match against Pro Patria, whose fans had racially abused him. He was joined by his team-mates, and the game was abandoned.”
Since then he has spoken at the United Nations about racism.
“Now it’s crazy. It happens every game,” Boateng said.
ESPN FC recounts other stories of his run ins with racism.
In an interview with ESPN, Kevin-Prince Boateng said: “It’s happened to me before” and looked back at his time on the cinder pitches of Berlin, the city in which he grew up.
He recalled one incident when the father of an opponent racially abused him, saying: “I will never forget the father. He had a big beard and no hair. I even remember his son. I wanted to kick his son so hard. I didn’t. I scored a goal, and we won the game. This I remember.”
“It takes a lot of courage. He showed everyone that enough is enough,” his half-brother Jerome, of Bayern Munich, told Berlin’s Tagesspiegel newspaper, refering to the January incident. “A lot of players should have done that much earlier, giving a visible sign against daily racism in stadiums just like Kevin and his team-mates did.”