Four young soccer players in the German Bundesliga give speeches of death George Floyd in the United States with protests against police brutality and called for justice over the weekend.
20-year-old English winger Jadon Sancho, 21-year-old Moroccan right-back Achraf Hakimi and 22-year-old Marcus Thuram made a statement on the pitch on Sunday, following the example given by American Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie, 21, the day before.
Sancho scored his first hat trick in Borussia Dortmund’s 6-1 win at Paderborn without the fans present, but took off his shirt after his first goal to show the shirt with the handwritten message “Justice for George Floyd” on the front.
“The first professional hat trick,” Sancho said on Twitter. “The bitter moment personally is because there are many important things happening in the world today that we must overcome and help make changes. We must unite as one and fight for justice. We are stronger together! “
Sancho was given a yellow card for taking off his shirt, but that did not stop teammate Hakimi from lifting his shirt to reveal the same message after he won Dortmund’s fourth goal in the 85th minute.
Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died Monday after a white Minneapolis officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee for several minutes on his neck.
Earlier, Thuram knelt down after scoring in Borussia Mönchengladbach’s 4-1 win over Union Berlin. The Gladbach striker scored in the first half and then dropped his left knee to the ground and put his right arm on his right thigh as he bowed his head in reflection. He spent five seconds in this position before rising again to continue.
“No explanation is needed,” Gladbach said Twitter with a picture of Thuram kneel.
It evokes memories of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the American anthem before the match to protest police brutality and racial inequality amid the Black Lives Matter movement.
Thuram, who also scored Gladbach’s third goal, did not comment on his attitude after the match.
“He got to the point,” Gladbach’s coach Marco Rose said. “He made a sign against racism, which of course we all fully support. I believe that everyone fully supports, that everyone has the same thoughts as he does. “
Thuram is the son of French World Cup winner Lilian Thuram, a prominent antiracism campaigner.
The death of Floyd and the tape of his neck pinned under Chauvin’s knee sparked outrage over the treatment of African-Americans at the hands of the police, leading to night protests and violent clashes with law enforcement throughout the United States.
On Saturday, McKennie wore an armband with a handwritten message “Justice for George” on his left arm. McKennie then on Twitter: “We must stand up for what we believe and I believe that this is the time we are heard!”
McKennie also said that he felt happy using his platform to address long-standing problems.
Schalke, who lost 1-0 to Werder Bremen, supported McKennie.
“We as Schalke 04 support the position of our players 100%,” club sporting director Jochen Schneider told tabloid Bild. “The death of the cruel American citizen George Floyd has shocked many people around the world. Our player Weston McKennie sends a clear signal of this untrustworthy action and against racism yesterday. “
The German football federation’s control committee will decide in the following days if he intervenes, with sanctions which are finally decided by his sports court. However, it has not acted on similar incidents in the past. The federation also campaigned against racism.
In 2014, Union Berlin striker Anthony Ujah exhibited a T-shirt with the name Eric Garner, and the words “can’t breathe” and “justice” regarding Garner’s death after a police officer placed him in what appeared to be a chokehold.
Ujah, who played for Mainz at the time, was given a warning and a reminder of the ban on political statements from the federation.
On Thursday, Ujah tweeted images of her protest from that time, but with The name Floyd is typed above in bold type.
Second-placed Dortmund are seven points behind league leaders Bayern Munich with five rounds remaining.
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