Many times in today’s society, people are torn down for standing up for something they believe in, especially when that something flies in the face of conventional wisdom or login. Many soccer fans around the globe were dismayed when soccer player Kevin-Prince Boateng walked of the field in protest after being the victim of racial taunts and abuse earlier this year. Most importantly, their dismay was not directed at Boateng, but was directed at the soccer fans that caused the disruption. Following the example of their comrade, the rest of the players and the officials followed Boateng example, and walked off the pitch. Officially, the friendly match was suspended definitely with official notes stating “AC Milan leaves the pitch after racist abuse by a minority of Pro Patria fans at Boateng, (Mbaye) Niang, (Urby) Emanuelson and (Sulley) Muntari. The rest of the fans in the stands disassociated themselves from such racist events.”
Now, I don’t believe that racism and/or many other -isms have gone away in 2013. Don’t get me wrong, progress has been made in the United States and globally concerning prejudice and racism. Still, it is important to have a comprehensive perspective concerning that progress. In truth, for every few forward steps, there have been regressive movements and setbacks as well. To quote Boateng on Twitter after the incident: “Shame that these things still happen… #StopRacismforever.” In this gesture, I am reminded of the larger picture here. Teams WALKED OUT of game, professionals MARCHED OFF a field, and authorities CALLED OFF a game that spectators paid good money to see and onlookers and fans readied to see the results. The result, the world saw a demonstration of peaceful protest and ultimately the triumph of the human spirit. The globe witnessed a beautiful moment for the beautiful game!
– Larrell Wilkinson