Jerome Boateng has praised his half-brother Kevin-Prince for his public stand against racism in football.
AC Milan’s Kevin-Prince Boateng was racially abused by supporters during a friendly against Pro Patria in January and walked off the pitch.
Last week, the midfielder met FIFA president Sepp Blatter in Geneva to discuss ways to tackle racism, and also delivered a speech.
“I knew he had worked on that speech for a long time,” Jerome told Der Tagesspiegel. “It is not that often a footballer speaks in front of such a parliament.”
He said he was proud of his sibling’s stand against racism, adding: “For me, has been the first footballer who put up some resistance. I have heard [Samuel] Eto’o also left the pitch once, but it did not have such an impact.
“A lot of players should have done that much earlier, setting a visible sign against daily racism in stadiums just like Kevin and his team mates did.
“It takes a lot of courage to do so. He showed everyone that enough is enough.
“I don’t know if he is a hero. But I am delighted, especially for him. He did not have the best image with the German public.”
Kevin-Prince Boateng, who was born in Berlin but chose to represent Ghana at international level, was an unpopular figure in Germany after his foul on Michael Ballack in the 2010 FA Cup final ruled the then-Chelsea player out of that summer’s World Cup.
But Jerome Boateng, who opted to play for Germany, felt the reaction to the incident was unfair. “He did not do that [the foul] on purpose,” he said.
“It just happened, and it fitted the mould of a lot of people at that time. The Ghetto kid from the deprived area, the gangster footballer from Wedding [an area of Berlin] and whatever else, was published about him.
“This foul made him out of favour with everyone in Germany. But now this – I am proud of him. It could have ended differently.”