Victor Osimhen, a prominent black footballer in the Italian Serie A, has spoken out against racism in the league.
He has experienced racial abuse twice while playing away games, but has always felt the love and support of Napoli fans.
Osimhen, who was named the 2022 foreign athlete of the year in Italy, believes that racism is a mental health issue that can affect players and even lead to suicide.
Despite the difficulties, he plans to continue speaking out against racism and hopes to eradicate it from the league.
“Since I came to Napoli in the City, I haven’t experienced what they call because everyone takes the blacks and whites as brothers unlike some of the other cities I have gone to,” Osimhen said at the press conference after receiving his award.
“I’ve been racially abused twice, and it’s a bad feeling. But of course, the love from Napoli fans through messages, phone calls and even in the stadium makes me not really think about these things.
“But I’ll try to preach as much as I can that racism is a bad disease, and it can make someone commit suicide in terms of where we blacks are coming from.”
The Italian Serie A has a history of racial abuse against black players, including Sulley Muntairi, Moise Kean, and Kalidou Koulibaly.
Although some actions have been taken against culprits, racism is still prevalent in the league.