English Premiership

Liverpool players take a knee as tribute to George Floyd

Liverpool players take a knee in memory of George Floyd at Anfield on June 01, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Liverpool players take a knee in memory of George Floyd at Anfield on June 01, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool players showed their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd in the United States by taking a knee around the centre circle at Anfield on Monday.

Reds stars including Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold tweeted the same photograph with the words "Unity is strength", accompanied by the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.

Made famous by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's kneeling during pre-game renditions of the US national anthem, bending down on one knee has become a symbol in the fight against racial injustice.

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford said he feared society was "more divided than ever" in the violent aftermath of Floyd's death in Minneapolis.

Floyd died last Monday after a white police officer held his knee on the handcuffed black man's neck for several minutes.

The shocking incident has sparked protests and riots in cities across the world and has been met with a strong reaction from sporting icons such as Michael Jordan and Lewis Hamilton.

"At a time I've been asking people to come together, work together and be united, we appear to me more divided than ever," said Rashford.

"People are hurting and people need answers.

"Black lives matter. Black culture matters. Black communities matter. We matter."

Rashford's United team-mate Paul Pogba said "violent acts of racism can no longer be tolerated."

The French World Cup winner posted on Instagram: "I can't tolerate, I won't tolerate, WE WON’T TOLERATE. Racism is ignorance, LOVE is intelligence."

England international Jadon Sancho was one of several Bundesliga footballers to make a stand over the weekend, while scoring his first career hat-trick for Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.

Sancho displayed a T-shirt with "Justice for George Floyd" written on it after scoring the first of his three goals in a 6-1 win over Paderborn.

"We shouldn't fear speaking out for what's right," said Sancho.

The English Professional Footballers Association (PFA) said in a statement: "We want America to know that the world is watching. The action taken to ensure justice for George Floyd at this moment sends a clear message about the perceived value of black lives in America."

Former England captain David Beckham, who owns Major League Soccer side Inter Miami, posted on Instagram: "I stand in solidarity with the black community and millions of others across the world who are outraged by these events."

Fixtures
Sat 04 Jul 20 13:30 PM (SAST)
Norwich City
Brighton & Hove Albion
Carrow Road
Sat 04 Jul 20 16:00 PM (SAST)
Leicester City
Crystal Palace
King Power Stadium
Sat 04 Jul 20 16:00 PM (SAST)
Manchester United
AFC Bournemouth
Old Trafford
Results
Thu 02 Jul 20
Manchester City 4
Liverpool 0
Thu 02 Jul 20
Sheffield United 3
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Wed 01 Jul 20
West Ham United 3
Chelsea 2
Logs
Team
P
W
PTS
1. Liverpool
32
28
86
2. Manchester City
32
21
66
3. Leicester City
32
16
55
4. Chelsea
32
16
54