Football

Bundesliga stars show support for U.S. protests

Hakimi, Thuram, and Sancho protest in Bundesliga

Marcus Thuram, Achraf Hakimi and Jadon Sancho have offered their support amid the ongoing protests in the United States as the Borussia Monchengladbach striker and Borussia Dortmund duo responded to the fight against police brutality and racism.

The U.S. has seen protests spark across the country in the aftermath of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in Minneapolis and Louisville, respectively.

Both Floyd and Taylor, who were African-American, were killed by police, becoming the latest deaths in a country that has seen a number of similar incidents in recent years.

In addition to the killings of Floyd and Taylor, America is also reeling from the death of Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed by father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia on February 28.

The McMichaels have been arrested on May 7 after an extensive social media campaign unfolded following the release of video concerning Arbery’s death.

Floyd’s killing, meanwhile, is the most recent catalyst, with police officer Derek Chauvin being charged with third-degree murder several days after video emerged of him kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.

In the leadup and aftermath of Chauvin’s arrests, protests broke out throughout the country, with those ongoing gatherings often leading to standoffs between citizens and police with destruction of property and looting also becoming part of the story.

The protests come years after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick attempted to bring attention to the issues of racism and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem, with the former San Francisco 49ers star now out of the sport as a result.

In the years since, taking a knee has become a symbol of that protest, with Megan Rapinoe among those to take part in the protests – and after scoring a goal against Union Berlin in a 4-1 win, Thuram made a statement of his own by taking a knee.

The son of former French star Lilian Thuram scored the second of his side’s four goals in the 41st minute before adding another strike in the 59th minute.

The forward has scored 14 goals for Borussia Monchengladbach this season, his first for the club since making the move to Germany from French side Guingamp.

Sancho meanwhile made a statement of his own after scoring in Sunday’s match against Paderborn after scoring the second goal of the day for his side. The Englishman removed his shirt, receiving a yellow card in the process, while revealing an undershirt reading “Justice for George Floyd”.

The goal was Sancho’s first of an eventual three, with the winger completing his first career hat-trick with finishes in the 74th and 92nd minutes.

His Dortmund team-mate, Achraf Hakimi, echoed Sancho’s message following a goal of his own in the 84th minute, lifting his shirt to reveal the same message displayed by the England star.

American midfielder Weston McKennie also made a statement during Saturday’s round of matches, with the Schalke star writing “Justice for George” on his captain’s armband.