Germany fans were eager to show their support for national team defender Jerome Boateng during Sunday’s friendly against Slovakia after a politician suggested that Germans “do not want a Boateng as their neighbor.”
Supporters brought signs asking Boateng, who was born and raised in Berlin, to be their neighbor as a response to the claim by Alexander Gauland, deputy chief of the right-wing Alternative for Germany party.
“Jerome be our neighbor”
“Jerome move in next to us”
Boateng also received support on Twitter from his brother, Ghana international Kevin-Prince Boateng, Germany teammate Benedikt Höwedes and UEFA’s official German-language account.
“If you want to win titles for Germany, you need neighbors like him.”
AfD leader Frauke Petry apologized to Boateng, but also claimed that Gauland couldn’t remember making the comment.
“I can only smile about it,” Boateng told Bild after the match. “It’s sad that such a thing still exists today. I think today there were enough positive responses in the stadium.”
German comedian Oliver Pocher might have gone a step too far in his attempt to support Boateng, though.