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Justice for George Floyd: Tributes and reactions

Justice for George Floyd: soccer players and clubs reacting

June 28, 2020 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
A host of soccer personalities and institutions around the globe have displayed solidarity and reacted to George Floyd protests.

Institutions and individuals in the football fraternity all over the world have called for justice to be served to the perpetrators of George Floyd's killing. The latter - a 46-year-old man who lived in Minneapolis in the state of Minnesota in the United States - died on May 25th, after a police officer kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes. The incident took place while he was being arrested for an alleged $20 bill forgery.

Following his death, numerous riots and protests have taken place throughout the US and other parts of the world in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight against racism and police brutality. Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer responsible for Floyd's death has since been fired from the force and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Pressure is now growing for the other three officers who were at the scene of the incident to face charges. Below are some tributes from soccer players, clubs, organizations, and fans regarding the incident:

June 27, 2020

NWSL players wear 'Black Lives Matter' shirts and kneel before the first game of Challenge Cup 

Players of North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns FC delivered a powerful statement by wearing "Black Lives Matter" shirts ahead of the first game of the NWSL Challenge Cup on Saturday. All the 22 players also kneelt in a moment of silence to protest against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States of America. 

June 14, 2020

Marcelo took a knee and raised his fist after his goal to show his support to the Black Lives Matter movement after scoring against Eibar.

June 12, 2020

June 7, 2020

US Soccer to reconsider ban on kneeling during the national anthem

US Soccer has a policy which forces players to stand during the national anthem, a move that was taken after USWNT star Megan Rapinoe kneeled in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. However, the organization is now reportedly reconsidering their stance after the killing of George Floyd. 

 
 
 
 
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The policy was adopted in response to Megan Rapinoe, who kneeled for the national anthem to show solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.

A post shared by espnW (@espnw) on

Saturday, June 6, 2020

  • Black Lives Matter Plaza: Abby Wambach commends DC mayor for renaming street in front of the White House.

Former USWNT star has praised Mayor Muriel E. Bowser for renaming a street infront of the White House as "Black Lives Matter Plaza". The symbolic two-block long mural was painted asphalt in massive yellow letters.

 
 
 
 
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Thank you @mayor_bowser for this important symbolic gesture. Please also reevaluate your $19M Increase in your budget for traditional policing and cuts to community-based initiatives, and please heed calls by BLM DC for tangible policy changes and reforms. Repost from @washingtonpost • "D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser renamed a street in front of the White House "Black Lives Matter Plaza" and had the slogan painted on the asphalt in massive yellow letters, a pointed salvo in her escalating dispute with President Trump over control of D.C. streets.⁠ ⁠ City officials said the actions Friday were meant to honor demonstrators who are urging changes in law enforcement practices after the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in the custody of Minneapolis police.⁠ ⁠ "There was a dispute this week about whose street it is, and Mayor Bowser wanted to make it abundantly clear whose street it is and honor the peaceful demonstrators who assembled Monday night," said John Falcicchio, the mayor's chief of staff.⁠" ⁠ ( by @king_marvino/The Washington Post)

A post shared by Abby Wambach (@abbywambach) on


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

  • Football fratenity unites for Blackout Tuesday

Football organisations, brands and stars, on Tuesday, flooded social media with numerous posts writing on black backgrounds to show their support for the fight against racism. The movement sought to amplify the protests against racial injustice happening in America and globally that has been triggered by the killing of George Floyd.

Below are some posts:

 
 
 
 
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#BlackoutTuesday

A post shared by Major League Soccer (@mls) on

 
 
 
 
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#BLM #blackouttuesday

A post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi) on

 
 
 
 
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#blackouttuesday #blacklivesmatter #alllivesmatter

A post shared by Jérôme Boateng (@jeromeboateng) on

 
 
 
 
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#blackouttuesday

A post shared by Lalas Abubakar (@lalasabubakar) on

 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Gyasi Zardes (@gyasinho) on

 
 
 
 
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#BlackOutTuesday

A post shared by Michael Essien® (@michaelessien) on

 
 
 
 
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#blackouttuesday

A post shared by Mats Hummels (@aussenrist15) on

 
 
 
 
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#blackouttuesday

A post shared by Marco Reus (@marcinho11) on

Monday, June 1, 2020

  • FIFA backs players for supporting #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd

FIFA has called for organizing bodies to apply "common sense" when handling players showing support for the #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd movement after the African American killing. This came in response to the Bundesliga stating they are assessing whether to sanction the likes of Sancho, Thuram, Hakimi, and McKennie on the grounds of "political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images", which is prohibited.

  • Anthony Modeste caps sensational goal with a celebration in honor of George Floyd

Koln striker Anthony Modeste got on the scoresheet in Monday's Bundesliga encounter with RB Leipzig and paid tribute to the #SayNoToRacism cause with his goal celebration.

  • Marcus Rashford:

  • Hope Solo:

  • Tierna Davidson:

  • Crystal Dunn:

 
 
 
 
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Im gonna say this loud for the people in the back! 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. The color of my skin carries oppression. It carries the weight of those that have fought for our civil rights and holds the weight of our fight against racism and police brutality today! Being Black comes with alot of responsibility, because we as a community are bonded together. When one of us falls we all fall. When one of us is hurting we all carry that hurt. I pray that those who come after us dont have to bare the weight of todays world. Let this be a reminder that even though we come from all walks of life, we are all worthy of equality and respect no matter what shade we are. #justiceforgeorgefloyd #justiceforbreonnataylor #justiceforahmaud

A post shared by Crystal Dunn (@cdunn19) on


  • Paul Pogba:

 
 
 
 
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During the past few days I have thought a lot about how to express my feelings about what happened in Minneapolis. 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. I can't tolerate I won't tolerate WE WON'T TOLERATE Racism is ignorance LOVE is intelligence STOP the silence STOP racism #NoToRacismWeAllOne #JusticeForFloyd #GeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter

A post shared by Paul Labile Pogba (@paulpogba) on

  • Kevin-Prince Boateng:

 
 
 
 
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Simple...

A post shared by Kevin Prince Boateng (@princeboateng) on

Sunday, May 31, 2020

  • Sydney Leroux:

 
 
 
 
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I've been having a really hard time putting my feelings into words these past couple days. I have a white mother and a black father and even though I am 50% white, society has always seen me as black. I was always "the black girl" growing up in school or on the field. When I stand up for our people, see me as both. I don't care how you identify. We all need to participate. We need to talk about this. We need to have uncomfortable conversations with our friends and our families and we need to get on the same page. That this is not okay. This has never been okay and it will never be okay but we will continue this fight until we are. A couple months ago I posted my son in a Black History Month sweater and someone commented that he isn't even "black". His genes say otherwise, the color of his skin says otherwise. Society says otherwise. You do not need to have black friends, black children, or a black spouse to be outraged. If you care about human life, you should be mad. Let me tell you, the black part of me is mad… but the white part of me is furious. And neither part of me will ever stop fighting for justice.

A post shared by Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) on

  • Karina LeBlanc

  • Rhain Brewster:

  • USWNT Players Union:

 
 
 
 
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#BlackLivesMatter #JusticeForGeorge #JusticeforBreonna #JusticeforAhmaud Commit to listening, learning, speaking up, speaking out, organizing, and acting. In our stories over the next few days, we will post about organizations to which this union and some of our members are donating and petitions we are asking our supporters to sign.

A post shared by USWNT Players (@uswntplayers) on


  • Rose Lavelle:

  • Marcus Thuram takes a knee in goal celebration against Union Berlin /strong>

Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram - son of French soccer legend Lilian Thuram - took a knee to show his solidarity in the fight against racism in America after scoring against Union Berlin on Sunday.

Powerful gesture from Marcus Thuram. His father Lilian, World Cup winner and anti-racism campaigner, gave a powerful talk at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool in 2008, unforgettable to all of us privileged to be present. Impressive family - on and off the field. https://t.co/TCsKv4JbjO

  • Jadon Sancho, Hakimi Achraf reveal "Justice For George Floyd" shirts after scoring

The pair was on target as Dortmund thrashed Paderborn 6-1 away from home.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

  • Carli Lloyd sparks angst for 'ill-timed' golf tweet

Soccer fans on social media have heavily slammed USWNT skipper Carli Lloyd for being reluctant in adding her voice to the call for justice for George Floyd. With a nationwide protest going on on Saturday, the 37-year-old Sky Blue FC star tweeted about buying a pushcart so she can play golf with her husband.

A blocking spree then ensued after some individuals tagged her to sign petitions while others questioned the timing of her post and her silence on the hot issue. Moments later, Carli Lloyd jumped on the #SayNoToRacism campaign but subsequently deleted the post.

She also shared an #AllLivesMatter post on her Instagram story. Many have since called for her to be stripped of her post as the USWNT captain.

Update: Following Saturday's backlash, Carli Lloyd took to Twitter to Monday to pen a tribute to George Floyd and the Black community.

  • Weston McKennie wears a "Justice for George" armband in Schalke vs.Werder Bremen

The American midfielder paid tribute to the deceased by wearing an armband with the inscription "Justice for Floyd" on it in Saturday's Bundesliga encounter.

  • Adidas and Nike join forces to fight against racism in the USA

Adidas and Nike - two sportswear manufacturing giants - took to social media to advocate for change in the wake of George Floyd's murder. The latter's video addressing racism in America was quoted by the former, with both asking for affirmative action to be taken in handling the issue.

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