United Kingdom-based Nigerian-born boxer, Lawrence Okolie has disclosed that he would love to see a situation in which the recent Black Lives Matter protests and campaign will not end in futility but turn out to be the watershed for far-reaching change across the world, megasportsarena.com reports.
Okolie stressed that he wants to see the campaign achieve significant effects and lasting impact for the Black race, as he believes they deserve better recognition in terms of infrastructure, roles in society, benefits of employment and all-round relevance.
The undefeated cruiserweight contender added that there must be a change and improvement on all levels of equality and the status of black people, if the movement that has spread globally since the death of George Floyd last month in Minneapolis, USA is to be deemed as successful.
He added in a long and powerful speech that there is need for all countries to allow for a system of repairing past issues, among which he suggested they could do by setting a good example in buying a house for his parents, who he disclosed did not previously own their home.
Okolie told Sky Sports: “There is a difference between this Black Lives Matter movement and the majority which I’ve seen in my short life so far. There seems to be a rise in consciousness. More people are aware of it. This has probably been the biggest civil rights movement since the ’60s.
“There is a lot of pressure, and hopefully it can stay on, for more justice for black people all over the world. The issue is that, a lot of the time, light is not shone on it. People become conditioned to it. People aren’t going to stand for it, the way they have stood for it before. Whether that be through protests or politically.
“That is positive to see. I want my kids to feel more comfortable than I felt. As long as we’re moving in the right direction, then I’m happy. The difference now? It seems like a spark. Protesting alone, or social media posts alone, won’t be the change. But it sparks a change. If you don’t realise there is a problem – whether you are black, white or Asian – then you can’t attack.
“Now there are more eyes on it. These are the things that spark the actual change. I am filled with hope because people are wise to a lot of stuff. I’d like to see more of the infrastructure being a lot less difficult for ethnic minorities. Socially and economically, whether it is intentional or unintentional, there is stuff to keep black people down.
“Myself? I’m starting to do well at boxing. I came from having no money in the family. Now I have to repair past issues, such as helping my parents to buy their house. In a different set-up, your family has houses so your build yourself another house. I’d like to see less infrastructural racism.
“For example, jobs. Not being afraid to put your surname and wonder if you’re going to get the job. When you get stopped by a policeman, to not feel fear. I feel like the infrastructure in society is slightly racist and that is one of the most important things to tackle.”