Former Milan Youth Academy Player Seid Visin Takes His Own Life

The news was already a chilling one: 21-year-old Seid Visin, a former Milan youth academy player, passed away on Thursday. But what was initially reported as the consequence of a sudden illness turned out to be a case of suicide.

As more details emerged, the story took an even more desperate turn as Visin allegedly took his own life after being targeted with racism – though his parents strongly denied such allegations.

Seid Visin was born in Ethiopia and was adopted by an Italian family when he was still very young. Between 13 and 15  years of age, he played with the Milan U-15 and U-16 selections, before moving closer to his home in Benevento and eventually quitting football.

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera published a letter that Seid sent to some friends and to his psychoterapist early in 2019. A letter communicating all the desperation and distress he must have kept to himself for a long time.

I am not an immigrant. I was adopted as a kid. I remember that everybody used to love me. Wherever I was, wherever I went, everybody addressed me with joy, respect, and curiosity,” he wrote.

“But now it feels like everything has turned upside down. I found a job that I had to leave because too many people, especially the older ones, refused to be served by me (…) and believed me responsible for many Italian (white) youngsters not finding a job.”

Then, the most gut-wrenching passage: “Wherever I go, wherever I am, I feel on my shoulders the burden of the skeptical, biased, disgusted, and scared looks from the people.

Seid concluded that “I am not begging for sympathy. I just want to remember to myself that the pain and distress that I feel are just a drop of water compared to the ocean of pain experienced by those who prefer to die rather than live an existence in misery and hell. Those who risk their lives, or maybe already lost them, just to smell, to taste a bit of what we simply call ‘Life,’” perhaps referring to the multiple migrants who regularly perish while attempting to reach Europe by boat.

Seid Visin was not an ordinary kid. His reflections show a maturity and sensitivity that are uncommon in a young footballer, and also a fragility that needed some support. He was helped along the way, even by the Milan staff, when it became clear that his dream to play for the Rossoneri was coming to an end.

We don’t know if anything could have been done differently and if Seid could have been saved. All we can say is that he had the right to live the same happy “Life” that he wished for his fellow brothers from Africa and for all migrants. He deserved so much better than this.