'Who does that help? No one!' - Boateng upset over lack of action after Schalke chairman's racism

Kevin-Prince Boateng Fiorentina 2019-20
Gabriele Maltinti
Clemens Tonnies will take a self-imposed break of three months after his discriminatory comments about Africa

Kevin-Prince Boateng has said he is upset that Schalke chairman Clemens Tonnies did not receive a more severe punishment for recent racist comments. 

Tonnies decided to step down for three months after finding himself in trouble over recent comments about Africa. 

The 63-year-old criticised tax increases to fight climate change and suggested that building power plants in Africa would be a more effective way of dealing with the issue. 

“Then the Africans would stop cutting down trees and producing babies when it is dark," Tonnies said. 

The comments caused an immediate outcry and Tonnies quickly issued an apology. 

“I am for an open and diverse society,” Tonnies said. “I am sorry for the comment on the large number of children in Africa. As chairman of the supervisory board of FC Schalke 04, I am 1,000% behind our club values. This includes the fight against racism, discrimination and exclusion.

"On the basis of that I expressly wish to excuse myself. It was wrong, rash and thoughtless and in no way in line with our values. I am very sorry.”

In a controversial decision, Schalke’s five-member honorary committee cleared Tonnies of accusations of racism but said he had violated the club’s guiding principle of anti-discrimination.

In the wake of that decision and after seeing the relatively brief period that Tonnies will step away from the game, Boateng has admitted he is dismayed.

“That should not happen to a person in his position,” Boateng told Bild . “When it is said that it was just a slip-up – I just don’t know how that can be a slip-up? His three-month break, who does that help? No one. They had to set a better example there.

“The opportunity was there to show everyone that something like that is not acceptable. Not in Germany, not in the Bundesliga and not in our club.”

Boateng played for Schalke between 2013 and 2015 and currently plays for Fiorentina after spending last season with Barcelona.

The 32-year-old has been vocal in the fight against racism during his career, and delivered a speech on the topic in 2013 at the United Nations Human Rights Council.