June 1, 2020 / 7:10 PM / a month ago

Players should take a knee to protest Floyd death, Kick It Out chairman says

(Reuters) - All players should take a knee in protest against the death of George Floyd, an American black man who died in Minneapolis after a white policeman knelt on his neck, anti-discrimination body Kick It Out chairman Sanjay Bhandari said on Monday.

Floyd’s death on May 25 has sparked unrest across the United States and the imposition of curfews in dozens of cities, with sports professionals also lending their voices in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Jadon Sancho and Marcus Thuram led protests in the Bundesliga, with the latter taking a knee in a goal celebration over the weekend — akin to quarterback Colin Kaepernick who knelt at NFL games to protest against racial injustice.

“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,” Bhandari told the Guardian.

“It should be teams doing it... 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.”

Premier League leaders Liverpool's squad was pictured kneeling during training on Monday, with a captihere "Unity is strength. #BlackLivesMatter".

Bhandari said he hoped players would not be cautioned or punished for expressing their support in a manner they saw fit.

“I would like to encourage the players to protest if they want to but I would also like to encourage them to do it in a way that doesn’t expose them to unnecessary sanction,” Bhandari added.

“I would urge all the authorities and all the clubs to show a degree of understanding. This is almost above politics, this is about right and wrong.”

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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