Boateng, who believes racism in soccer hasn't changed, believes the sport needs someone like Colin Kaepernick to fight injustice.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
November 08, 2018

Kevin-Prince Boateng has great respect for Colin Kaepernick and believes soccer needs a similar figure to fight the racism within his sport. In an interview with ESPN's James Horncastle, Boateng expressed his disappointment in soccer authorities' lack of action toward racial abuse and called Kaepernick's protests an inspiration.

"Those are the [kind of] moments we need," Boateng said. "To [demonstrate] what people are fighting against, they let their voices be heard. Kaepernick, he left millions in money [on the table], advertisers, Nike ... to say what he [believes]. He's a hero. He's like Muhammad Ali. He's going to be known forever, and if one day he dies, everyone is going to remember him."

The Sassuolo German-born Ghanaian footballer has been one of several soccer players subject to racism on the pitch. In 2013, Boateng, Urby Emanuelson, Sulley Muntari and M'Baye Niang abandoned a friendly match against Pro Patria after they became targets of racist chants. Boateng joined the FIFA Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination shortly afterward but said soccer authorities have done nothing to change the sport's racist culture.

"I had three or four ideas. I put them out there. I spoke to them about it. But at the end of the day, nothing happened," Boateng said. "Nothing changed. It's just Champions League. 'Say No to Racism.' That's it."

Boateng said he is driven by Kaepernick's example of how athletes can use their platform and spotlight to raise awareness on social issues. Kaepernick is known for protesting social injustice and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem during his time with the San Francisco 49ers. Boateng also highlighted individuals such as LeBron James and teams like the Golden State Warriors as other role models he hopes soccer will embrace.

"You need these people. You need LeBron James. You need the Golden State [Warriors], who are against their president," Boateng said. "It's crazy. But they show [their convictions]. They say: 'We're not going. You need these big people to make big actions because otherwise nothing will change."

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