Berlin (dpa) – 28 players, they kneel on the green lawn, together they form a heart. The message is clear.
“We, the players of Borussia Dortmund, fully support the Black Lives Matter movement,” BVB professional pro Mats Hummels wrote on Twitter: “We don’t accept racism. For an open-minded and tolerant world, for a better world!”
There will be imitators, there should be no doubt about it – football shows itself united in the fight against racism. Already on Wednesday evening, the players of the second team of FC Bayern Munich and SC Preußen Münster had knelt before the kick-off of their third division encounter at the Mittelkreis. The gesture that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first showed before a football game in 2016 to signal against police violence and racism.
Even in stadiums without spectators, as is currently the case during the coronavirus pandemic, footballers have an enormous range. They could say something as role models, emphasized international Joshua Kimmich. “It is good that it is not just a player. Perhaps it is also an option to say something as a team,” said the 25-year-old professional of FC Bayern in the British media, with a view to the campaign, including that of the English BVB – Professionals cited Jadon Sancho last weekend.
The 20-year-old had pulled his jersey over his head after scoring 2-0 at SC Paderborn and showed a shirt with the words “Justice for George Floyd”. His team-mate Achraf Hakimi also wore a shirt with this lettering. It wasn’t the only gesture after the death of African American Floyd as a result of a brutal police operation in Minneapolis, particularly in the United States, against police violence and racism.
What happens in the United States also shocked players in Germany, like Kimmich’s Bayern colleague Jérôme Boateng. The case shows “how widespread racism against blacks is still in America” and the role “racial profiling”, ie racially motivated police controls, played there, said the 31-year-old Boateng in an interview with Deutsche Welle. “Racism is everywhere, but it’s extreme in the United States,” said Boateng.
Racism is “an issue and very present in Germany too,” said the 2014 world champion. “There have been attacks against foreigners and people of different beliefs in Germany in recent years. Overall, there is a certain direction in which I think we were “, emphasized Boateng, who was born in Berlin and grew up there with his German mother. His father comes from Ghana.
“Unfortunately, racism has happened to me many times,” said Leon Bailey, who welcomes Bayern in the top game on Saturday with Bayer 04 Leverkusen, to Sport1. But he is a guy who tends to hide it. What is happening in the US right now is bad, of course. “We are in 2020 and yet there is. I see such videos and it hurts my heart. I therefore speak 100 percent against racism.”
Other players and teams will certainly do the same. The DFB did not sanction the actions last weekend, FIFA President Gianni Infantino emphasized: “To avoid doubt: In a FIFA competition, the recent demonstrations by players in the Bundesliga would deserve applause and not a punishment.”
Borussia Mönchengladbach’s sports director Max Eberl also rated it as “totally correct” that there were no penalties for Gladbach professional Marcus Thuram. It’s about humanity, emphasized Borussia Dortmund’s sports director Michael Zorc. “It goes without saying for all of us that these are extremely important issues, that people show solidarity and acknowledge that we are all against racism. That is why my expectation before that was that there would be no punishment,” said sports director Horst Heldt from 1. FC Köln.
Last weekend Sancho and Hakimi from Borussia Dortmund, Weston McKennie from FC Schalke 04, Thuram from Borussia Mönchengladbach and Cologne’s Anthony Modeste positioned themselves with various actions and gestures against racism and expressed their solidarity with Floyd. “We may also have to do something, because we mustn’t give something like that,” said Bayern professional Kimmich.