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Boateng makes powerful anti-racism speech at the UN

STRONG BELIEFS: Boateng (left) alongside FIFA president Sepp Blatter

GHANAIAN INTERNATIONAL Kevin-Prince Boateng spoke about his own personal experiences of racism today (March 22) at a United Nations conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

The AC Milan midfielder walked off the pitch after being racially abused by fans of fourth division Pro Patria during a friendly in Italy on January 3.

Invited to speak at the discussion entitled ‘Racism and Sport’ Boateng spoke about the events during the match, saying that it he was "profoundly angry and offended" and that racism was "one of the most dangerous diseases of our time".

The 26-year-old went on to compare racism to malaria adding that that racism, like malaria, "is strengthened by indifference and inaction".

“There is no vaccine to fight this and no antibiotics to take. It’s a dangerous and infectious virus which is strengthened by indifference and inaction,” he said.

“When I played for Ghana, I learned how to fight malaria. Simple vaccines are not enough. You also have to dry out infected areas where the carriers proliferate. I think that racism and malaria have a lot in common.

“Football stadiums, like other places, are full of young people. If we don’t fight the stagnation, many of those who are healthy today, could become infected with one of the most dangerous diseases of our time.”

Boateng says that more people in the spotlight must make a stand against racism.

He continued: “Many sportsmen like myself and my team-mates, artists and musicians all have unique chances and responsibilities to make themselves heard.

"We have the possibility to reach the parts that political speeches will never reach. History shows us how important the contributions of famous athletes can be. I can say that the fact that the President of America shares my skin colour, has something to do not only with Martin Luther King, but also Muhammad Ali.

"It’s just as important to stand up to racism today as it was in the past. We have to find inspiration from those who have risked their lives for the cause. I’m convinced that it would be a fatal error to believe that we can fight racism by ignoring it and hoping that it’ll go away like a headache. This won’t happen.

"In any moment when our paths cross with racism we have the duty to rise and to act. Thank you for listening.”

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