Jerome Boateng possibly would be safe from racial taunts and slurs on the football pitch for as long as he kept winning for the German national team of which he has been a member for the last few years, as well as for Bayern Munich, the German powerhouse football club where he is a star.
Boateng, a center-back, was born in Germany to a German mother and a father from Ghana, making him European and African at the same time.
Across many sports, Germany is increasingly fielding apparently German-born black athletes to represent it in the World Cup and the Olympic Games, among other Tier 1 events.
So are France, Italy and Britain, among other European countries, and Canada in North America, whose delegations to the recently held World Track and Field Championships in London were a mix of black and white competitors.
Canada’s neighbor, the United States, has long been bannered by black Americans (until “political correctness” intervened resulting in the likes of Michael Jordan and Simone Biles, for example, being referred to as African-Americans).
We have not come across any report where Jordan (does he need any introduction?) or Biles, a gymnast and already a multi-titled Olympic and world champion and she is not even 20, was victimized by racists watching his NBA games or gasping at her unbelievable feats on the floor and the uneven bars.
But LeBron James has had no such luck,
Recently, his house was vandalized, with the “N” word reportedly written outside the gate.
Come on, he possibly is today’s Mr. NBA but, still, it did not matter to the bigots who disrespected him, his children, his family, the black race.
Also recently, he said Donald Trump has made hate “fashionable” again, an accusation that the US President unwittingly confirmed when he did nothing to pacify melting-pot America seething at the apparent resurrection of the Ku Klux Klan in Virginia and Boston (Massachussetts).
Unfortunately, LeBron seems to be only one of the very few marquee names in US sports to have spoken out against racism.
We, Filipinos, would not be able to throw our support behind him because we probably are one of the most color-conscious people in the whole wide world.
Every other black-skinned guy is N…o to us and every black-skinned gal is N…a.
Sports is supposed to be color-blind territory but, stop raising your hopes too high, it isn’t.
Maybe there is a racist gene that is yet to be discovered, which brings us back to square one even if it is made public—that racism would be around us for a long long time.
Jeroem Boateng is safe for now because Germany also recently won the Confederations Cup (he played for the national team) and looks set to top its group in the European Qualifiers (he is playing for the squad) for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.