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Mario Balotelli talks racism and homophobia in football

Speaking in an interview with Canal Football Club, Marseille striker Mario Balotelli did not hold back when he was asked about recent racial abuse suffered by Moise Kean.

On Moise Kean’s recent experience being subjected to racism in Cagliari:

It really annoyed me. People like me, who have the possibility to be heard, by a lot of people, must speak. Because people who suffer racial discrimination in everyday life don’t have the ability to speak to make themselves heard… Yes in Dijon there were racist chants (against me). They did something as it was one individual, they were able to identify who it was, and they sanctioned them. I think that the decision was right. But there is something that I don’t understand which is when someone next you says things like that why don’t people want to tell him: “shut up?” That’s what annoys me.

Because if I am sitting next to someone who starts to say horrible things about gay people, racism, discrimination is an affront to everyone who is different. So if I am next to someone who is mocking homosexuals, I will pull his ear. How can you be in a stadium with children and have someone next to you who is insulting players on the pitch? You say nothing? That really annoys me. Us the players, what can we do? (You could leave the pitch?) Yes true. But for me football is the most beautiful of all sports. I like to play football. And I don’t like to leave the field. I prepare myself the entire week to play, on Sunday, and to have to leave the field because of one idiot… It would be easier to just identify the person and kick them out.

On if he was white, does he think he would still be in the national team:

I think that I am no longer in the national team because it is partly my fault. When I was at Liverpool, for example, I did not play well. So it is normal for me not to be called-up. That was my fault, and then after that things happened that I am not responsible for. I do not know if it is because of my character, or because it was easier not to call me or because of racism I don’t know. But I do know that it is not my fault that I am not in the national team anymore. At the beginning yes, afterwards no.


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