On Saturday, Kevin-Prince Boateng did a remarkable thing. We like remarkable things, especially in the face of bigotry. During the first half of a friendly match against Pro Patria, the Ghanaian forward led his AC Milan teammates in a walk-off after being subjected to racist abuse from a section of the crowd.
The hope is that this could be a major blow in the fight against racism in football and Boateng has received deserved support from all corners.
Except, notably, from FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who suggested that walk-offs were “running away” from racism. This drew boos from the chorus and for good reason: while the President could have expressed logical reservations at the long-term ramifications of walk-offs, yet again his choice of phrase was not so much unfortunate as downright harmful. His suggestion that walk-offs were in any way running from racism in part robs any targeted player of some of the power to fight back.