The benefit of racial stats, to me, encourages you to think about what you plan to specialize in. It also adds a challenging dynamic if you decide to try a class/job not necessarily suited for your race.
Thing is, a lot of people don't necessarily want to be "specialists." They want to be able to play and enjoy all the game's content. When you take possibilities away from them at the start, that puts unwelcome pressure on them. For every person that appreciated the racial differences in FFXI, there were 10 players who lamented that the race they chose because they liked it wasn't suited to the class they wanted to play.
I'm not saying that it can't work out fine. Having a way to change races, for example, is a classic way to circumvent the problems of it. But that's an entirely different discussion.
It takes away the ability of you being unique, when you can become anything anytime you want, with the same stats as everyone else. That is only separated by gear. It's disappointing to me but not a deal breaker.
Doesn't have to. For example, people can take different abilities in FFXIV. Bingo, you're not the same as everyone else, and instead of some minor statistical attributes, you actually do different things. If anything, I felt more unique as an Elvaan Samurai because I chose the race I wanted to play, not because the tiny STR bonus made me almost unnoticeably better. But if the difference were more clear, and almost everyone who mained a Samurai picked Elvaan, then I'd be surrounded by players just like me. The reality was that I saw Samurai of lots of different races who played at the same level as I did. At the same time, the gear, subjobs, and merits that I chose were more than enough to make me unique.
Ultimately when you make it so that decisions at the beginning of the game affect what you can do, you're requiring that people start a new character if they set new goals. So it's not as if it necessarily makes you any more unique, because any player can then go and make another character more like yours. And I've known several who did... but they also weren't very happy about it.
If you want to look at it mathematically, it allows you to make your character more unique. When there are no statistical advantages, every combination of race and class is equally feasible. When there are statistical advantages, options like Galka mages tend to come off the table for most people. Most people choose a Tarutaru mage, and now your Tarutaru mage isn't unique at all.
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...
Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.
Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.