England international Jadon Sancho was booked during Borussia Dortmund’s game on Sunday after removing his shirt to reveal a tribute to George Floyd, the African-American man whose death has sparked widespread protests.
Sancho joined in the chorus of international sports figures to have paid tribute to Floyd, whose death in police custody in Minneapolis was captured on cell phone footage and released online, sparking seismic protests against police brutality across the US.
The English youngster scored three second half goals as Borussia Dortmund cruised to a 6-1 against Paderborn in the recently resumed Bundesliga to keep pressure on Bayern Munich at the summit of the table, but one strike in particular will perhaps be remembered above the others, as the 20-year-old removed his shirt in celebration to reveal a slogan in support of the late Floyd on a t-shirt underneath.
The young ace was booked however after removing his shirt to show the message – which is against Bundesliga rules – while there are also bans on displaying political messages.
Achraf Hakimi and Jadon Sancho both revealed ‘Justice For George Floyd’ shirts in Dortmund’s 6-1 win over Paderborn. pic.twitter.com/k9vx4etswj
Several further Dortmund players also had undershirts noting their support for the protests currently taking place in Floyd’s name.
Earlier on Sunday, Borussia Monchengladbach’s French forward Marcus Thuram also made a reference to the issue as he kneeled in celebration after scoring in his team’s 4-1 win against Union Berlin, echoing the vein of protest popularized by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Thuram’s move was quickly backed by his manager Marco Rose.
“He [Thuram] cut to the chase,” Rose said. “He took a stand against racism, one that we wholeheartedly support.”
Another who co-signed Sancho’s expression was former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves, who said that he admired Sancho for ensuring that his voice was heard.
“I admire these guys,” Hargreaves said on BT Sport. “I think it’s great that young players are making a stand against things that shouldn’t happen in this society. I credit Jadon Sancho for doing that.”
Earlier in May, Sancho retweeted a message of support for Ahmaud Arbery, the African-American jogger who was shot and killed in Georgia in February.
“Black people deserve better than what the world gives us. We’re treated as less than human,” the tweet read.