American soccer players and their counterparts in Germany’s Bundesliga joined protests across the world this weekend over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Borussia Dortmund’s English winger Jadon Sancho lifted his jersey after scoring his first of three goals Sunday to reveal a T-shirt with the handwritten message “Justice for George Floyd” on the front. Teammate Achraf Hakimi showed the same message after scoring one of his own.
Sancho was shown a yellow card for his gesture — FIFA mandates yellow cards for players who remove their jerseys — after he scored the second goal in Dortmund’s 6-1 win at Paderborn on Sunday.
Earlier Sunday, France-born Borussia Mönchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram took a knee after scoring in a 4-1 home win over Union Berlin. In a gesture that evoked Colin Kaepernick, Thuram dropped his left knee to the ground and rested his right arm on his right thigh as he bowed his head in reflection.
Thuram is the son of French World Cup winner Lilian Thuram, an outspoken antiracism campaigner.
“He got to the point,” Gladbach coach Marco Rose told reporters in Germany after the game. “He made a sign against racism, one we all completely support of course. I believe that everyone fully supports it, that everyone has the same thoughts he does.”
On Saturday, Schalke and U.S. men’s national team midfielder Weston McKennie wore an armband with the handwritten message “Justice for George” around his left arm. McKennie later said on Twitter: “We have to stand up for what we believe in and I believe that it is time that we are heard!”
In the United States, Union captain Alejandro Bedoya tweeted a photo of Saturday afternoon’s rally at the Art Museum steps with the message: “To remain silent is to be complicit. We can not continue to tolerate the blatant racism and injustices that are occurring in our country.”
Minnesota United posted an essay on its website by one of its African-American players, Jacori Hayes.
“I want to be optimistic, but I’m afraid that racism is so ingrained in the fabric of the United States that the issue will always persist,” Hayes wrote. “As a country, we have to address our whole history, acknowledge how this country built its wealth, how this country has failed African Americans consistently, and its citizens who are consistently marginalized before we can ever say, without hypocrisy, we are the shining country on the hill.”
U.S. women’s national team star Crystal Dunn wrote on Instagram: “I am so proud to be BLACK! With a Capital B. My skin color has always been misconstrued by society as undesirable and undeserving of equal treatment. … I pray that those who come after us dont have to bare the weight of todays world.”
Another national team star, Rose Lavelle, wrote a long message on Twitter with the hashtags #BlackLivesMatter and #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.
“My white privilege has allowed me to use my platform in a light-hearted manner without confronting larger issues,” she wrote. “I realize my silence has not contributed to addressing these issues and, therefore, I am part of the problem of racism and inequality. ... I know I will never experience the fear and pain of being a black person in America, but I’ve seen the injustice and reason for this fear and stand with the black community in this fight."
The U.S. women’s team’s players union issued a statement which said, in part: “We are angry and hearbroken. From subtle racism and prejudice to outright acts of hatred and police brutality, black people have been and continue to be oppressed in America."
Along with the statement, the union gave backing to a range of non-profit groups and encouraged fans to donate to them.