I made a promise to myself that if I ever made it as a pro footballer, I would pay it back – especially to those who don’t have the same opportunities I had. That’s why I’m taking a stand on an issue that has affected me deeply. As a Black man, I have repeatedly experienced racism and, like my parents, endured looks of distaste. Being shut out in this way is not just incredibly painful but also leaves emotional scars. No one is born a racist; it’s something that’s learned. To end prejudice against people of different ethnicities, origins and religions, we must prevent it taking root early on. Wherever racism occurs, we must show the courage of our convictions and oppose it. That’s why projects like MitternachtsSport are more important than ever. We have a saying there that if you can touch a young person’s heart, you can win their mind. I hope kids and teens never experience or get to know racism, exclusion or xenophobia. The MitternachtsSport non-profit organization brings together young people from diverse backgrounds and promotes mutual respect. It serves as a big, happy family where everyone is welcome. As a big brother, I’m incredibly proud to be a part of that family.