Football Article

Sportspersons React to America Protests

Sportspersons React to America Protests Photo: TT
Sportspersons React to America Protests

It was going to take something special to knock Covid-19 off top spot when it comes to world headlines, but the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis last Monday has managed to achieve just that.

The 46 year old was arrested after allegedly trying to pay for groceries with a counterfeit note, and, in a subsequent confrontation with police, was detailed by an officer who knelt on his neck for a prolonged period of time, The image was captured on social media, and was flashed around the world, with shock turning quickly to anger when it transpired that Floyd had subsequently died. Too make matters worse, Floyd was black and the officer in question white.

Since then there has been six days of rioting and looting in US cities, with millions of dollars of damage, and, despite curfews in place in more than 40 of them, there have been several more fatalities and more injuries.

And, nor have the protests been confined to the USA alone, Sunday saw thousands take to the streets in London, Berlin, Toronto, and the Iranian city of Mashhad, Iran to demonstrate against the US government.

And the world of sport has also reacted, particularly members of the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) Community. Tennis stars Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff all used their social media accounts to protest at the death of Floyd, and the treatment of Black Americans by white members of law enforcement, with Williams describing herself as lost for words.

Meanwhile, in Germany, Englishman Jadon Sancho, who netted his first ever professional hat-trick as Borussia Dortmund thrashed Paderborn in the Bundesliga, was booked after revealing a Justice for George Floyd T-shirt after scoring one of his goals.

And, earlier in the afternoon, Marcus Thuram took a knee after scoring for Borussia Mnchoengladbach against Union Berlin, evoking memories of another sportsman who has been campaigning for Black Americans, former San Francisco 49ers quarter-back Colin Kaepernick.

On Monday, the entire Liverppol squad interrupted training to take a kneel too at Anfield.

Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton was another one to make his feelings known, criticising other people in his industry for not speaking out on the matter.

And, Vanessa Bryant, the widow of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash last year, posted a picture of her late husband wearing a T-shirt with the legend I cant breathe.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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