Black Lives Matter: Premier League players and officials kneel at kickoff | Football News

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Aston Villa and Sheffield United knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement

Aston Villa and Sheffield United knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement

Players from Aston Villa, Sheffield United, Manchester City and Arsenal, as well as match officials, showed support for the Black Lives Matter movement by kneeling at kick-off as the Premier League resumed .

City and Arsenal players followed Villa Park’s lead by kneeling for about 10 seconds at kickoff after referee Anthony Taylor’s opening whistle at Etihad Stadium.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang raises his fist while kneeling for Black Lives Matter

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang raises his fist while kneeling for Black Lives Matter

Granit Xhaka and Eddie Nketiah join teammates to kneel

Granit Xhaka and Eddie Nketiah join teammates to kneel

Earlier, referee Michael Oliver and his officials joined all the players on their knees before Villa’s 0-0 draw against Sheffield United.

“It was absolutely true,” said Sky Sports co-commentator Andy Hinchcliffe. “It just shows that football is united against racism. You’ll see it repeated across the country in all Premier League teams. ”

Former Villa midfielder Ian Taylor said, “It’s huge. Everyone in the world will see it. Everyone knows what it means. ”

Sky Sports specialist Jamie Redknapp added: “It is such a powerful image. It just shows you that everyone has had enough. It was an incredible statement from the players. “

Aston Villa and Sheffield United take the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement

Aston Villa and Sheffield United knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement

The 22 players and match officials knelt for the first 10 seconds of the match at Villa Park

The 22 players and match officials knelt for the first 10 seconds of the match at Villa Park

The two clubs issued a joint statement, which reads: “Aston Villa and Sheffield United were proud to show solidarity with the actions of the players and coaching staff of the two football clubs in the first 10 seconds of the match. from the Premier League tonight, expressing our collective support. for the Black Lives Matter movement.

“In the first Premier League match of Project Restart, the two clubs hope that” taking a knee “will send a strong message of unity and amplify the many messages of support from Premier League players and the football family in general.

“The directors of the two clubs, Dean Smith, Chris Wilder, Jack Grealish and Billy Sharp and the players from United and Villa fully support this action.

“We think that” taking a knee “at the start of the match and after the silence of the pre-match minute, allowed the two clubs to pay tribute to the victims of COVID-19 and to show the deep gratitude that we all feel for our courage and selflessness. front line workers. ”

As will be the case in the Premier League, players have all warmed up with Black Lives Matters t-shirts with names on the back of match shirts replaced with the same message.

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