In an interview with Bleacher Report released on Wednesday, Toronto FC and US men's national team forward Jozy Altidore revealed the dumbfounding extent to which Black players can be exposed to racial abuse in some parts of the world.
"If I had to guess how many times I've been a part of some racial type of abuse, I couldn't even guess, to be honest," Altidore said. "Easily in the hundreds, 200s, 300s. ... It's a very normal thing in a lot of parts of the world."
With that shocking regularity he says most Black players understand, it's only the most egregious examples that stand out in his memory.
There was a time on a Concacaf Champions League trip to Mexico City when a Club America fan not only taunted him on Twitter with racial slurs, but also sent pictures posing with a gun as an implied threat. There was a game back in Europe for Dutch side AZ Alkmaar when opposing fans began making monkey-like noises whenever he touched the ball near the sideline, the first time he recalled hearing abuse in a crowd setting.
"When I look back at it now, I realize just how significant of a moment that was," Altidore said. "And if I could do it over, I probably would’ve walked off the field."
Check out the whole interview. It's an informative and sobering five-minute watch. Just be warned there is language that includes uncensored racial slurs and profanity: