Home Sports Liverpool players offer Black Lives Matter support amid worldwide George Floyd protests

Liverpool players offer Black Lives Matter support amid worldwide George Floyd protests

Liverpool’s first-team squad have given their support to the Black Lives Matter movement amid protests at the death of George Floyd.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died last week in Minneapolis as a white police officer named Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck against the ground for nearly nine minutes.

Despite Floyd repeatedly saying he could not breathe, he passed out and died in the street, with Chauvin continuing to keep his knee on the 46-year-old’s neck for nearly three minutes while he was motionless.

The incident, caught on camera by witnesses, has sparked outrage across the United States and the world, with peaceful anti-racism protests held in the United Kingdom including in Liverpool.

There are said to have been protests in over 140 US cities across the past six days, with curfews having been imposted in at least 40 and National Guard members activated in over 26 states.

It is the largest scale of civil unrest and anger in America since the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968.

Liverpool players offer Black Lives Matter support amid worldwide George Floyd protests (Image: GETTY)

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Liverpool players offer Black Lives Matter support amid worldwide George Floyd protests (Image: GETTY)

Chauvin has since been charged with three-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He and the three officers present were fired by the Minneapolis Police Department.

But protestors are demanding more is done with the killings of black Americans in police custody a long-standing issue in the States and the problem of systemic racism still very much a global one.

And Premier League leaders Liverpool have offered their support to the movement, with the Liverpool players all sharing the same image of the squad taking a knee on the Anfield centre circle and facing a camera high up in the stands.

In the picture can be seen 29 members of Jurgen Klopp’s squad, some in red training gear and others in black, with all of them tweeting a caption which read: ‘Unity is strength #BlackLivesMatter.’

It is the first collective gesture from a Premier League club to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

It comes just a day after Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster, currently on loan at Swansea City, called for an end to racial inequality and injustice in a powerful series of Twitter posts.

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Liverpool players offer Black Lives Matter support amid worldwide George Floyd protests (Image: TWITTER)

The 20-year-old, who has spoken of his multiple experiences of racism on the pitch previously, said: “This is way deeper than just pointing out who’s staying quiet and who’s speaking up. 

“Unfortunately for us black/brown people etc, this is a real life & everyday occurrence in so many different ways. 

“For years & generations we’ve been screaming out for change and to be heard yet the pain continues…

“We’ve all been shown films like Roots, we’ve all seen films like Boyz in the Hood where this reality is covered and showcased. 

“Yet we are still living these movies in real life. In 2020, today.

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“This goes beyond just #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd, we need justice for us as Human beings. 

“We don’t want special privilege. A level playing field is all we have been crying for, forever. Hear us. #BlackLivesMatter’.”

Liverpool’s squad are the latest of a string of sports stars to make powerful gestures in support of Black Lives Matter.

England international Jadon Sancho on Sunday unveiled a ‘Justice for George Floyd’ undershirt after scoring in Borussia Dortmund’s win over Paderborn in the Bundesliga, as did team-mate Achraf Hakimi.

Liverpool players offer Black Lives Matter support amid worldwide George Floyd protests (Image: TWITTER)

Earlier in the day, Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram took a knee while celebrating a goal, with Schalke’s Weston McKennie having worn a ‘Justice for George’ armband on Saturday.

Players have also taken to social media to demand justice and an end to police brutality and racial equality, including Kylian Mbappe among many others.

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford said in a statement: “I know you guys haven’t heard from me in a few days.

“I’ve been trying to process what is going on in the world.

“At a time I’ve been asking people to come together, work together and be united, we appear to be more divided than ever. People are hurting and people need answers.

“Black lives matter. Black culture matters. Black communities matter. We matter. #justiceforgeorgefloyd #justiceforahmaudarbery #justiceforbreonnataylor.”

Liverpool players offer Black Lives Matter support amid worldwide George Floyd protests (Image: GETTY)

British Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton – the only black driver in F1 – has also been vocal about the matter, hitting out at the silence of his peers last night.

He said on Instagram: “I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest of stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice.

“Not a sign from anybody in my industry, which of course is a white-dominated sport. I’m one of the only people of colour there yet I stand alone.

“I would have thought by now you would see why this happens and say something about it but you can’t stand alongside us. Just know I know who you are and I see you.

I do not stand with those looting and burning buildings but those who are protesting peacefully. There can be no peace until our so-called leaders make change.

“This is not just America. This is the UK, this is Spain, this is Italy and all over. The way minorities are treated has to change, how you educate those in your country of equality, racism, classism and that we are all born the same!

“We are not born with racism and hate in our hearts, it is taught by those we look up to.”

A number of F1 drivers have responded with posts of their own since Hamilton’s comments.

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