When soccer player Kevin-Prince Boateng (pictured right) heard monkey chants from the crowd in the stadium he was playing in Thursday afternoon in Busto Arsizio, Italy, he decided he couldn’t ignore the racism directed at him.
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So the Ghanian-German midfielder for A.C. Milan, stopped, kicked the soccer ball towards the offensive fans, removed his jersey, and walked off the field. His teammates would soon follow, abandoning their match against home team Pro Patria and leaving the stadium for good.
A few minutes prior, the same fans had hurled monkey chants at another A.C Milan player of Ghanian descent, Sulley Muntari.
According to The New York Times, the Pro Patria players tried convincing the fans to stop chanting, but to no avail.
“When we tried to reason with them and went under the stands, they didn’t even consider it,” said Pro Patria defender Devis Nossa. “They certainly weren’t our usual fans.”
Later in the day, Boateng directly addressed the incident via his Twitter account and promoted a new hashtag:
“It was brave of Kevin Prince Boateng to do what he did today, and it was the right thing. We need to stand up and stand together. Well done,” Tweeted Patrick Vieira, a former player for the Arsenal Football Club who is of Senegalese heritage.
“@KPBofficial proud of you bro👍#StopRacismForever,” Turkish National Football player Nuri Sahin re-Tweeted.
Egyptian-Italian player Stephan El Shaarawy called the incident “a shameful afternoon. I’m sorry for the intelligent people present at Busto but it was right to leave.”