- Chelsea have joined Liverpool in making a stand against racism
- Players from the Premier League club took the knee during training on Tuesday
- Goalkeeper Kepa tweeted: ‘Enough is enough… Together we are stronger’
- Their acts of defiance come in the wake of George Floyd’s death in America
Chelsea players took the knee in the H formation for ‘human’ during training on Tuesday
Goalkeeper Kepa explained why Chelsea players made the demonstration on Twitter
Newcastle’s players also delivered a statement of their own as shared on Twitter
The Liverpool squad stopped training to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement
The first-team squad took a knee midway through their first training session back at Anfield
Derek Chauvin (pictured) has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after George Floyd died after he held his knee on his neck for over eight minutes
Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has spoken out on the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement
The England international said: ‘I’ve been trying to process what is going on in the world’
Manchester United star Paul Pogba has expressed his sadness at George Floyd’s death
Jadon Sancho unveiled a ‘Justice for George Floyd’ message on his t-shirt at the weekend
Chelsea became the latest Premier League club to throw their support behind the Black Lives Matter movement on Tuesday.
Players from the London club took the knee during a training session at Cobham in the formation of H for ‘human’.
Goalkeeper Kepa explained their motivation, tweeting: ‘Enough is enough. We are all HUMANS. Together we are stronger. #BlackLivesMatter’.
Newcastle’s players also delivered a statement of their own as shared on Twitter, with the players taking the knee in the centre circle in training. They tweeted: ‘#UnitedAsOne’.
They joined Liverpool stars, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford in leading the Premier League’s stand against racism by producing powerful displays of solidarity following the tragic death of George Floyd.
The chairman of anti-racism organisation Kick It Out, Sanjay Bhandari, has called on every Premier League player to take a knee in the wake of Floyd’s killing in the USA, saying: ‘I wonder if that’s the thing I would encourage if players want to protest.
‘If you score a goal and take a knee could everyone do that? Not just the black players. The white players too – everyone.
‘Every player should do it. It should be teams doing it. You saw the Erling Haaland celebration after the first game back where all the Borussia Dortmund players did the social-distancing celebration. They could all take a knee.
‘Racism’s not about black players or brown fans. It’s about all of us. Racism corrodes society and we’re all hurt by it. Everyone should want to demonstrate their solidarity and disgust.’
Unarmed black man Floyd was killed in Minneapolis last week after white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.
The shocking incident has sparked days of civil unrest in America and led to protests across the world by demonstrators angry about the brutal and disparate treatment of black people by the police, racism in society and demanding change.
Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta, who was one of those behind the move, told the club’s website: ‘It is something where we want to use our position to express that we are living in a world where we have to try to improve it for the future, to be a better world with more love, without hate.
‘We have seen recently the result of racism and we see every day that that kind of hate has to be eradicated from society, and we have to play our part.
‘There is every day the possibility to lead by example, to behave, to educate the children into a better world because we know that education is key for the future.
‘We know the young generation is coming behind us and we want to leave them in a better world with more possibilities without any kind of discrimination or racism, so everything matters and it is time to speak up and to face up to the attitudes that we are seeing. There is no place for all of this.
On Monday Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool squad broke off from their training session at Anfield, where they were preparing for the season’s resumption, to gather around the centre circle and take a knee as they posed for a picture which a number of players posted on social media with the caption ‘Unity is strength #BlackLivesMatter.’
Manchester United pair Rashford and Pogba also issued ‘Black Lives Matter’ statements 24 hours after an image of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho marking the first of his three goals against Paderborn on Sunday by revealing a ‘Justice for George Floyd’ t-shirt went viral.
Rashford, praised for his charity work during the coronavirus pandemic, said: ‘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.
Pogba also sent a message on his Instagram account.
‘During the past few days I have thought a lot about how to express my feelings about what happened in Minneapolis,’ he wrote.
‘I felt anger, pity, hatred, indignation, pain, sadness. Sadness for George and for all black people who suffer from racism EVERY DAY! Whether in football, at work, at school, ANYWHERE!
‘This has to stop, once and for all! Not tomorrow or the next day, it has to end TODAY! Violent acts of racism can no longer be tolerated. Racism is ignorance. LOVE is intelligence.’
England and Dortmund star Sancho produced his statement on the same weekend that Dortmund teammate Achraf Hakimi plus Bundesliga stars Marcus Thuram and Weston McKennie also paid tributes to Floyd.
Sancho was booked by referee Daniel Siebert for removing his shirt before his gesture and the DFB, the German Football Association, have risked further criticism by confirming they are investigating all four incidents.
But Sancho was emphatically backed by Dortmund who named the England star man-of-the-match against Paderborn for his ‘performance as a footballer and human being.’