As you may recall, Pescara midfielder Sulley Muntari somehow managed to wind up with a booking after attempting to report racist abuse to the referee during Sunday’s Serie A game against Cagliari.
The Ghanaian was taunted by a group of Cagliari fans throughout the match and eventually left the pitch in protest, but only after being cautioned for dissent by Daniele Minelli, the unmoved match official.
However, Muntari refused to be perturbed by the both the racism and the general indifference shown thereafter, duly revealing that he even attempted a peace offering to the youngest member of the group responsible in an attempt to set a good example:
There was a little kid doing it with his parents standing nearby, so I went over to him and told him not to do it.
I gave him my shirt, to teach him that you’re not supposed to do things like that.
I needed to set an example so he grows up to be nice.
The 32-year-old former Portsmouth player continued:
[The referee] told me I should not talk to the crowd. I asked him if had heard the insults.
I insisted that he must have the courage to stop the game. The referee should not just stay on the field and blow the whistle, he must do everything.
He should be aware of these things and set an example.
I am not a victim, but if you stop the matches I am convinced that these things won’t happen any more.
You’ve got to admire Muntari for rising above. Whether his exemplary gesture will have any tangible effect on an obviously pre-polluted young mind remains to be seen.