The English Premier League returned today, and to kick things off they showed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
The first game back featured Aston Villa, Sheffield, no fans in the stands and no names on any of the jerseys. Instead each player wore “Black Lives Matter” on their backs. In addition, both sides and the referee took a knee after the opening whistle was blown, in solidarity with the movement.
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has spoken out supporting anti-racist protests earlier this month. He told BBC, “Just like the pandemic, we want to find a solution to stop it… this is what all these protesters are doing. They are trying to find a solution and a way to stop the injustice they are seeing and they are fighting for their cause.
"As long as they are doing it peacefully and safely and not hurting anybody and not breaking into any stores, they continue to protest in this peaceful way.”
According to the BBC, more clubs throughout the day will wear jerseys saying “Black Lives Matter” as well.
Clubs will be showing their appreciation for the NHS and supporting the Black Lives Matter anti-racism campaign during Premier League matches.— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) June 17, 2020
This is how Arsenal's shirt will look.
Live build-up: https://t.co/CAFxIvLMYW pic.twitter.com/tkprahlEUj
The jerseys also feature a patch supporting the UK’s National Health Service.
As sports ramp up in the United States, could the English Premier League set a template for how to play the game safely, while also empowering players to voice their concerns about racial inequality in America?