Boris Becker says racism in Germany needs to be discussed openly after the tennis icon drew criticism on social media for taking part in a Black Lives Matter protest.
The six-time Grand Slam champion claims he was the target of angry comments “from Germany” on Twitter after participating in an anti-racism demonstration in London over the weekend.
Becker spoke out in a video message posted on the platform.
“I must have hit a sore spot with my Tweet about my family history,” said Becker, whose ex-wife Barbara is the daughter of an African-American, while the mother of his second wife Lilly comes from Suriname.
“In our country it is swept a bit under the carpet and I think that’s a pity. We should talk about it much more publicly”, said the 52-year-old, who called for more social engagement against racism in his native country. “We are all one family.”
In an earlier Tweet, Becker said he was “shocked, shaken and horrified” by the “many insults ONLY from Germany”.
“Why, why, why? Have we become a country of racists...?” he added.
The death of George Floyd, who died in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sparked protests across Europe and Germany at the weekend.
According to German police, around 10,000 protestors gathered at Berlin’s Alexanderplatz on Saturday, while there were similar numbers for demonstrations in Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg.