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Boateng seeks solidarity on racism protest

AC Milan playmaker Kevin-Prince Boateng has called for other players to walk off the pitch if they suffer from racist abuse.

Boateng walked off during a mid-season friendly with Pro Patria on Thursday after being subjected to whistles and monkey chants from sections of the crowd, and is adamant that no player should suffer the same treatment.

“I was surprised that in the time we live in now – it’s 2013 – these things still happen; still these things come up, and still we have to fight these things and still hear these things,” Boateng told CNN.

“It’s not the first time in my life that I’ve had to see things like this or hear things like this. I’m 25 years old, and I don’t want to see this bulls**t anymore, and for myself, no one can convince me to play again. I said it straight: ‘I’m not going to play on this pitch again.'”

Boateng said he did not consult any of his colleagues before deciding to walk off.

“No, (I hadn’t spoken to any black team-mates before taking action), on the field, you don’t really have time to speak about things like this, but I could hear when they did it to Muntari, and even before they did it to me,” he said.

“There are so many emotions. I was angry, I was sad, I was disappointed. And this all came together and I said: ‘Okay, I’m not going to play anymore. I don’t want to play when the crowd is doing things like this, or in a place like this’. So many negative emotions came up in me.

“I’d say to everyone that I don’t want them to play through this experience – I’d tell them to walk off the pitch.”

Former Milan star Clarence Seedorf has been critical of the decision to leave the field, claiming racist supporters should not be given a publicity, but Boateng does not agree with his former team-mate.

“I respect his opinion but I think Seedorf’s wrong,” Boateng said.

“They should get 100 per cent of our attention and its’ the only way we can kick these people out. We can’t just stay silent and pretend we didn’t hear anything.”

Despite his anger at the abuse, Boateng said it would not make him consider leave the sport.

“I wouldn’t consider retiring, there’s some very stupid people but I will give them my attention because I want to kick them out,” he said.

“I love the game too much.”

Fri 4 January, 2013
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