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Frankfurt players display '#blacklivesmatter' on game shirts

June 11, 2020 12:19 IST
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'Tonight: Make your mark. Black heart. Every day: Listen. Understand. Question. Stand. Speak up. Fight for tolerance and diversity. Overcome racism.'

IMAGE: Eintracht Frankfurt player Timothy Chandler wears the white shirt which displayed the line "#blacklivesmatter" in black letters, larger than the name of the team's sponsor. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Pool via Getty Images

Eintracht Frankfurt changed their team shirt to display "#blacklivesmatter" on the front for their German Cup semi-final at Bayern Munich on Wednesday to take a stand against racism, the club said.

 

Athletes across the world have joined in support of protests triggered by the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in US police custody last month.

"Tonight: Make your mark. Black heart. Every day: Listen. Understand. Question. Stand. Speak up. Fight for tolerance and diversity. Overcome racism," Frankfurt said.

The white shirt displayed the line in black letters, larger than the name of the team's sponsor.

Several Bundesliga clubs and players have shown their support for the protests by going down on one knee ahead of league games in recent weeks.

Major sports have also moved to allow protests following Floyd’s death on May 25, including world soccer’s ruling body FIFA and the American National Football League (NFL).

Wallace to use #BlackLivesMatter livery in NASCAR race

Bubba Wallace

IMAGE: Bubba Wallace, the only African-American driving in the NASCAR Cup Series, wore a black T-shirt with the words "I Can’t Breathe" during last Sunday's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Photograph: Steve Helber/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network/Reuters

Bubba Wallace, the only African-American driving in the NASCAR Cup Series, will use a #BlackLivesMatter livery on his Richard Petty Motorsport Chevrolet for a race at Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday.

Following protests over the killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody, NASCAR has promised to do more to address racial injustice.

"I’m excited for this opportunity to run #BlackLivesMatter on the car for Martinsville," Wallace said in a video posted on Richard Petty Motorsports’ Twitter account. "This statement that we have right here. Running this race car. Being on live television.

"I think it’s going to speak volumes for what I stand for, but also what the initiative that NASCAR, the whole sport, is trying to push."

During last Sunday's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway Wallace wore a black T-shirt with the words "I Can’t Breathe", which were Floyd's last to officers restraining him.

The paint scheme used on Wallace's car on Sunday is striking with two fists, one black and the other white locked together on the hood.

Underneath the graphic are the words "Compassion, Love, Understanding".

"I think the two fists — the black fist and the white fist — going hand in hand speaks volumes, says a lot. Has a lot of power behind it,” Wallace said.

The Martinsville track in Virginia is significant for Wallace. It is where he came up through NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program and won his first race in a national truck series in 2013.

NASCAR president Steve Phelps said on Sunday the sport would do more to address racial injustice and is coming under increasing pressure to ban the Confederate flag, widely viewed as a symbol of slavery, which still flies prominently at many races and remains popular among the sport's strongly southern, white and conservative fan base.

NASCAR first asked fans in 2015 to not bring Confederate flags to race but this has been largely ignored.

US Soccer says it will allow protests during anthem

The US Soccer Federation on Wednesday said it had repealed its requirement that players stand during the national anthem, saying the policy was wrong and detracted from the Black Lives Matter movement.

The policy was adopted in 2017 after US women's national team member Megan Rapinoe took a knee during the playing of the anthem prior to a match in 2016 in solidarity with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt to call attention to racial injustice.

"We apologize to our players - especially our black players - staff, fans, and all who support eradicating racism," the federation said in a statement.

"Sports are a powerful platform for good, and we have not used our platform as effectively as we should have. We can do more on these specific issues and we will."

Going forward it will be up to the players to determine how they want to use their platforms to fight racism, discrimination and inequality, the federation said.

Kaepernick's protest, which sought to highlight racial inequality including police brutality against black people, set off a firestorm of controversy and he never found work again in the NFL after the 2016 season.

The controversial issue has returned to the fore in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis who died last month after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, prompting protests in the United States and beyond.

US President Donald Trump has been one of the most vocal critics of players kneeling during the anthem, tweeting on Sunday that NFL players who did so were "disrespecting our Country & our Flag."

Several players, including Washington running back Adrian Peterson, have said they plan to take a knee during the playing of the song next season.

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