BERLIN – Four young soccer players in Germany’s Bundesliga addressed the death of George Floyd in the United States with protests against police brutality and calls for justice over the weekend.
England’s 20-year-old winger Jadon Sancho, 21-year-old Morocco right-back Achraf Hakimi and 22-year-old Marcus Thuram made statements on the field on Sunday, following the example set by Schalke’s American midfielder Weston McKennie, 21, the day before.
Sancho scored his first hat trick in Borussia Dortmund’s 6-1 win at Paderborn with no fans present, but removed his jersey after his first goal to reveal a T-shirt with the handwritten message “Justice for George Floyd” on the front.
“First professional hat trick,” Sancho said on Twitter. “A bittersweet moment personally as there are more important things going on in the world today that we must address and help make a change. We have to come together as one & fight for justice. We are stronger together!”
Sancho was given a yellow card for taking off his jersey, but it didn’t stop teammate Hakimi from lifting his shirt to reveal the same message after he grabbed Dortmund’s fourth goal in the 85th minute.
Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee for several minutes on his neck.
Earlier, Thuram took a knee after scoring in Borussia Mönchengladbach’s 4-1 win over Union Berlin. The Gladbach forward scored in the first half and then dropped his left knee to the ground and rested his right arm on his right thigh as he bowed his head in reflection. He spent five seconds in this position before getting up again to continue.
“No explanation needed,” Gladbach said on Twitter with a picture of Thuram kneeling.