Last week, Maya Lucia was a young footballer focused on her training, studies and winning matches for Malta.
However, ever since some hooligans shouted racist chants at her in front of everyone at a public football match, she’s found herself suddenly thrust into the national spotlight.
Having responded publicly to the comments, to the point that leading politicians stepped into the discussion, and with an official investigation underway, Lovin Malta spoke to Maya to see how the young athlete was handling all of this.
“It’s been absolutely insane – but I am glad that most people understood the message, that was the goal really,” Maya said bashfully.
Maya is not one to spend too much time on social media – but she had to open up publicly after people hurled abuse about her “black father” at her.
However, she isn’t letting the hate hold her back – she literally went on to score the winning goal of the aforementioned match – and has described the outpouring of support over the past week as “positive”, leaving her “pleasantly overwhelmed”.
“I’m the type of person that doesn’t even have social media apps installed, so as you can imagine this was absolutely insane – but this is not about me really, so I’m glad it spread as it did,” she said.
Taking the attempted abuse in stride, Maya made it clear that any Maltese athlete facing discrimination needs to know that there are others out there who can relate to them and support them.
“Honestly, I don’t feel wise or experienced enough to give anyone else advice or anything of the sort,” she said humbly. “I just hope they know there’s a community who can relate to them and their experiences and that they’re not alone.”
“If there’s anyone who has experienced anything like this and needs to talk, let them know – I have an open ear,” she ended with a smile.