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Nigerians react to Mikel Obi’s outburst about ‘black tax’



Nigerians on X (formerly Twitter) have been reacting to an interview granted by former Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi.

The former Chelsea star said African footballers are effectively subject to an extra tax as they often support extended family and hangers-on back home.

Mikel claimed that some players are even “threatened by their own blood” over what is now referred to as the ‘black tax’ on social media.

“When you come from Africa – and this is something I don’t think we speak a lot about – when you make money, it is not your money,” said Mikel, speaking on Rio Ferdinand’s Vibe with FIVE.

“You have all these relatives, cousins, whatever.

“Your sisters, they go off and get married to some guy. He just wants to get married into John Obi Mikel’s family because then [he thinks] ‘my life is sorted’.

“You start looking after this guy and you send money to your sister and the money goes to him and he does whatever he does with it.

“This is the thing nobody knows about – your money is not your money.

“You get a salary and say ‘I’ll put this aside for this person, put that aside for that person, and put that aside for my mum and dad’. Before you know it, you are getting less than them.

“That is the culture. They expect you to do that. For them, you owe them.”

The former midfielder who recently said goodbye to professional football, went on and on to explain how his father was kidnapped on two occasions but did not say if it was scripted or not.

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Reacting on X, a tweep by name Biola Kazeem wrote: “The data is very clear. 40% of EPL players are bankrupt within 5 years of retirement. It is even worse for African/Nigerian players. When you go broke, it is those you helped for so long that will lead your mockery. I know too many broke Nigerian players not to understand Mikel.”

Another tweep, with username, kingchyk, said: “Mikel’s unprovoked public outburst where he labelled his family members as leeches mirrors into the career he had with National team and why he was such a disruptive character. Always having running battles with Coaches. Dude is clearly a selfish motherfucka.”

There have been mixed reactions to the footballer’s assertion, and below are a few posts on social media being for or against the statements of the erstwhile Super Eagles star.

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