The number of players in Germany’s top soccer league lending their voices to the worldwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism is growing.
Before Saturday’s Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin, several of Dortmund’s players prominently displayed messages supporting the movement, which spread across the United States last week following the death of George Floyd while in police custody. American midfielder Giovanni Reyna, the son of former two-time U.S. World Cup captain Claudio Reyna, sported a back t-shirt emblazoned with the words “No Justice, No Peace.”
Both teams’ entire starting lineups took a knee before kickoff.
They weren’t the only ones. Earlier in the day, Mainz midfielder Pierre Kunde knelt after scoring his side’s second goal in a 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. Meanwhile, David Alaba of league-leading Bayern Munich wore a Black Lives Matter armband in his side’s 4-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen:
Important W.— David Alaba (@David_Alaba) June 6, 2020
Even more important message: BLACK LIVES MATTER! ✊🏾🖤 pic.twitter.com/JTHrB3e46e
Before the Union Berlin vs. Schalke match on Sunday, every player, coach and official took a knee as well:
Union Berlin and Schalke take a knee. pic.twitter.com/Ckhe4ac0BA— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 7, 2020
It’s the second consecutive weekend that Bundesliga players have demanded change using their platform. The circuit remains the highest-profile global sports league to have resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram also took a knee after scoring. Reyna’s fellow U.S. men’s national teamers Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams wrote “Justice for George” on their armband and cleats, respectively, as did Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, who took off his shirt to reveal the message after scoring the first of his three goals against Paderborn.
Reyna, McKennie and Adams were also among the Bundesliga players featured in a powerful video speaking out about racism and police brutality that was posted to McKennie’s Twitter account.
The Bundesliga said last week that players who protest before or during matches would not be punished by the German Football Association, even though International Football Association Board rules prohibit “any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images.”
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