At the beginning of 2013, former AC Milan player Kevin-Prince Boateng made one of the biggest and defining moments against racism in professional football.
In a friendly match before the season resumed, the Ghana international was the subject of racist chants by the opposing team’s fans. Boateng became angry and frustrated with the chants, picked up the ball kicked it into the stands where the racist fans were seated and then walked off the pitch. After a moment of confusion, his AC Milan team mates decided to follow Boateng, leaving the pitch in support of the player against the racist fans. The match was then canceled.
This marks the first time in football history that a match was abandoned due to racist abuse.
This challenged the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) policy that players must stay on the pitch regardless of abusive or racist chants.
Rather than disciplining the player and the team for leaving the pitch in the middle of a match, the Italian club, AC Milan, supported the players decision by making personalised “AC Milan against racism” jerseys for the players to wear before their next league match.