Celtic starlet Jeremie Frimpong has revealed that he’s already encountered racism in football even though he’s only played two professional games.
The 18-year-old, who has wowed Celtic fans in his two starts for the club, spoke of how he’d been targeted by bigots while at Manchester City.
Debate is raging over how to tackle the rise in racism in football, with Neil Lennon saying he would support players who leave the field.
Frimpong, though, says he would take a different approach.
The Dutch youngster revealed that, rather than walk off the pitch, he’d make his abusers eat their words by helping his team to victory. Given the chance, he said he’d then like to confront the racists and ask why they had behaved in that manner.
The attacking right-back said: “In the past when I was younger I did get some of that. I went away with Man City – to Italy – and the fans were being racist,” reports the BBC.
“It’s come back a bit. The England game v Bulgaria, things like that – what’s the point? It kills the mood, the game of football, it just kills it.
“I wouldn’t walk off the pitch, no. I would just ignore them and then at the end of the game talk to them and ask ‘why did you do that?’.
“I’ll still play and I’ll play so hard to get a goal. It would just motivate me more. And when we win, I’ll love that.”
Frimpong, who was named in the SPFL team of the week after a sensational league debut, also spoke about how his game has improved under Neil Lennon’s tutelage.
He said: “Me and Neil, sometimes we work on my crosses because when I first came I would get there but my end product wouldn’t be that great.
“So we’d stay behind and he’d give me some balls and I’d just whip them in so I think that’s a real improvement now.”
Frimpong is loving life at Celtic and is hoping to keep working hard and taking his chances to impress.
He continued: “I’m going to keep working hard, keep making the fans proud, my team-mates proud and the manager proud. That’s all I want to do. The fans are great and they’re really great to me.”
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