Kevin-Prince Boateng has spoken out following the death of George Floyd at the hands of four police officers in the United States and thinks that black professionals should go a day without work to show their worth.
Floyd’s killing sparked protests and riots all over the world and the former Barcelona forward stands in support of those sending a message.
“Do one thing,” Boateng told Sky Sports, “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 idea was just one that Boateng, who is currently on loan at Besiktas from Fiorentina, had as he continued to call on people to do something to combat racism.”Of course,” he responded when asked if others could get involved with such a movement.”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.”
Boateng previously walked off the pitch during a friendly match with AC Milan as he was the victim of racist abuse from the stands but he knows that others are fearful of doing the same thing.
“It was a powerful image and still is now,” he said.”But I think even now people are scared they are going to get sanctioned.”There’s always a little chain – we have to start to believe in what we are doing.”People say it was a friendly game, but I didn’t care in that moment because it was something bigger inside of me. It wasn’t about the game. Even if it was a Champions League game I would have walked off.”It’s not a discussion, it’s just if we’re strong enough, if we really want to change something, we have to take big measures.
When asked if society as a whole was doing enough, Boateng recognised that although some recent efforts were appreciated, more needs to be done.”Of course not,” he said.
“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.”