Former Parma and Juventus defender Lilian Thuram insists ‘fighting racism isn’t important for football, compared to giving off a positive image and making money.’
The now retired France international gave an exclusive interview with Sky Sport Italia in which he covered the same debates he’s been discussing for decades, with a sense of mounting exasperation.
“When you say that you are ‘white’, your skin colour is not this,” said Thuram, pointing to a piece of paper.
“Because when we say white or black, that identity has a history behind it. Many times people talk about racism and want to change things, but they don’t want to listen to those who actually suffer the effects of racism.
“Historically, they blame the victim. That’s why we need to keep talking and calling out the incidents of racism.”
Yet Thuram is not impressed by the anti-racism campaigns he sees around Europe, which he considers to be largely performative.
“Every time there’s an incident, they all say ‘never again’, but ultimately nothing changes. I’m 49 years old, what change have I seen in my lifetime?
“I think it’s because fighting racism isn’t important for the world of football. The most important thing for football is to give off a positive image and make money.”