German-born Ghanaian forward Aaron Opoku has spoken publicly about the racist insults he received while playing in a third division match after seven months.
Opoku, a player for third-division club Osnabrück, was insulted with monkey sounds from the stands during the match at Duisburg. The referee immediately stopped the game.
"I've always swallowed it, but why should you always swallow it? The trainer said that something has to happen for the world to finally wake up. If there's not even a sign, it will always go on like this," said the 23rd -year-old on the podcast "The Athletes Room" published on Wednesday evening.
Opoku now plays again for Hamburger SV but was loaned to the Osnabrück team last season. According to a police report, on December 19, 2021, a spectator shouted the sentence "You monkey can't shoot a corner either" towards the field.
The investigation later revealed that the VfL defender Florian Kleinhansl was meant. In the stadium itself, however, those involved perceived this as a racist insult against Opoku, who was standing next to Kleinhansl, and the game was abandoned.
In the podcast, Opoku also spoke about the reactions to this incident. The day after, he "lay in bed all day and didn't do anything. My phone was on airplane mode. I was only available to my parents. I didn't want to have anything to do with anyone," Opoku said.
Later he "received a lot of positive news. Many who experienced something like this themselves told me that the campaign was the right one and that it was finally time."
Opoku reported that Hertha professional Kevin Prince Boateng, the entire Berlin club and former DFB integration officer Cacau had contacted him. "That gave me a lot of strength."