Thursday, May 26, 2022

AC Milan’s Mike Maignan says he’s ‘standing black and proud’ after Juventus fans racial abuse

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AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan has spoken out about the racial abuse he suffered while warming up ahead of last Sunday’s 1-1 draw away at Juventus in Serie A and has called on more effective ways to combat similar episodes of racism in soccer stadiums.

The France international was filmed suffering insults from a member of the home crowd which quickly made its way to social media and has now seen an investigation launched into the incident at Allianz Stadium.

“On Sunday evening at Allianz Stadium, Juventus supporters targeted me with racial slurs and cries,” wrote Maignan in a social media post on Tuesday. “What do you want me to say? That racism is wrong and that these supporters are stupid? It is not about that.

“I am neither the first nor the last player to have this happen. As long as these events are treated as ‘isolated incidents,’ and no comprehensive action is taken, history is bound to repeat itself over and over and over again.

“What are we doing to combat racism in football stadiums? Do you really believe it is effective? I am in a club that strives to lead the way by opposing all forms of discrimination. But we need to be more numerous and to be united in this battle for society which goes beyond football.

“In the proceedings, do the people who decide know what it feels like to hear insults and cries relegating us to the rank of animals? Do they know what it does for our families, for our loved ones who see it and who do not understand that it could still happen in 2021?

“I am not a ‘victim’ of racism. I am Mike, standing, black and proud. As long as we can give our voice to change things, we will.”

Maignan, a summer transfer arrival from French champions Lille OSC, will take to the pitch once more on Wednesday with Venezia the visitors to San Siro as the 26-year-old and teammates attempt to keep pace with bitter rivals Inter Milan at the Serie A summit.

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