Liverpool players took a knee around the centre circle at Anfield in a message of support following the death in police custody of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis. A picture showed 29 Liverpool players in the centre of their Anfield Stadium was posted on their club website with caption “Unity is strength. #BlackLivesMatter”.
Players reportedly requested the picture during training on Monday. Manchester United players Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba also gave their own contributions in the worldwide protests against racism. Protests have been held after Floyd, an unarmed black man, who was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer by name Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes to pin him down.
Although the officer has since been discharged of his duties no charges has been passed for the ex-officer, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first protested against racial injustice and police brutality by kneeling down during the American national anthem in the summer of 2016. That gesture has since become symbolic to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Liverpool and other football club and players have since been in protest, the message is “Violent acts of racism can no longer be tolerated. we can’t tolerate, we won’t tolerate, WE WON’T TOLERATE. “Racism is ignorance, LOVE is intelligence, STOP the silence, STOP racism.” United team-mate Rashford said he had been “trying to process what is going on in the world”. The England striker added: “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.”Numerous Liverpool players tweeted the picture of themselves kneeling at Anfield, including defenders Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, and midfielders Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner.