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Inaki Williams talks about racism in Spain, and his choice to play for Ghana

Inaki Williams talks about racism in Spain, and his choice to play for Ghana

Athletic Bilbao's Ghanaian international striker Iñaki Williams has opened up about racism in Spain, the way black people are looked upon, and what was decisive in his choice to defend the colors of the Black Stars.

Ghanaian international striker Iñaki Williams (29) spoke about racism in Spain, a practice that has affected him directly. It was during the regrettable episode at the match between Athletic and Espanyol at Cornellá in 2020. He had to endure shouts of "monkey" and other serious insults. By way of illustration, he also referred to the racist insults hurled at Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior at the Mestalla. And for him, the Real players should have left the pitch on that occasion. "I would have been grateful if all the Real Madrid players had left the Mestalla". He insists that this should be everyone's attitude.

What he is hoping and praying for, his team-mates at Athletic seem to have promised him, to leave the pitch if he were to experience racist insults again. "If they ever abuse me again, the Athletic Bilbao players have decided that they will leave the pitch. It will be a punch against racism".

Williams, born in Spain, was lucky enough to have the destiny that smiled on him. He notes that people look at him and poor black people differently. "If you have a lot of money, as I do, they don't look at the color of your skin, but if you're a street vendor, things change," he laments.

Choosing to join Ghana

Iñaki Williams also mentioned the unpleasant memes and comments he has been subjected to in the past. They had to do with racism. These had arisen on his arrival in Bilbao."Many people wondered whether a black man could play for Athletico," he recalls. But he says he feels as Basque as his fellow Lezama players. Since then, he's noticed a change for the better. "The world is globalized and fans are no longer surprised when they see a black player at Athletic".

The Bilbao striker said he was proud to play for the Ghana national team. The country of his grandfather, recently remembered by God. His grandfather was a determining factor in his decision to join the Black Stars, as he explained. "He wanted me to play in Ghana, so I got him and was able to pay tribute to him. When my brother and I went there this summer, we saw barefoot children and I said to him, 'Listen Nico, if it wasn't for Mum and Dad, we could be one of those kids'", he said. However, Nico chose Spain.

His family's difficult journey to Spain

It's something he didn't know for a long time: the conditions under which his parents arrived in Spain. A journey strewn with pitfalls. My mother told me they were in Ghana, that my mother was pregnant and my father told them they had to leave, so they started traveling through the desert", he says bitterly.

Iñaki Williams, who was interviewed about this episode at the ripe old age of 20, adds in the interview that his father "had burnt soles from walking barefoot".But it got worse."They had to drink their own urine to survive. They buried people who died during the journey," the player, who has played 375 La Liga matches, told ESPN.

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