• Pogba felt ‘pity, hatred, indignation’ at George Floyd death

    Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has felt ‘pity, hatred, indignation’ in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the ensuing civil unrest in the United States.

    Floyd died while in police custody in Minneapolis, leading to protests and riots in the Minnesota city that have spread to other parts of the country.

    Protests in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement have been staged abroad in recent days, including in London and Manchester in the United Kingdom.

    United forward Marcus Rashford issued a statement in support of the movement and teammate Pogba has now sent a message to his 41 million Instagram followers calling for racism ‘to stop, once and for all’.

    He wrote: ‘During the past few days I have thought a lot about how to express my feelings about what happened in Minneapolis. I felt anger, pity, hatred, indignation, pain, sadness.

    ‘Sadness for George and for all black people who suffer from racism EVERY DAY! Whether in football, at work, at school, ANYWHERE!

    ‘This has to stop, once and for all! Not tomorrow or the next day, it has to end TODAY!

    ‘Violent acts of racism can no longer be tolerated. I can’t tolerate. I won’t tolerate. WE WON’T TOLERATE.

    ‘Racism is ignorance. LOVE is intelligence. STOP the silence. STOP racism.’

    Pogba’s post came hours after Liverpool players took a knee around the Anfield centre circle and tweeted the picture with the words ‘Unity is strength’.

    At the weekend, Jadon Sancho celebrated his first of three Borussia Dortmund goals against Paderborn by revealing a T-shirt saying, ‘Justice for George Floyd’, while Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram got down on one knee after scoring against Union Berlin.

    On Monday, former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure said he felt ‘very proud’ to see protestors in Manchester making their voices heard.

    ‘We ALL have a responsibility to challenge racism,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘Racism is a problem for ALL people. WE have to fight it TOGETHER.’

    Sanjay Bhandari, chairman of anti-discrimination organisation Kick It Out, has now called on every Premier League player to make a statement by taking a knee when the season restarts.

    ‘Every player should do it,’ Bhandari said.

    ‘It should be teams doing it. You saw the Erling Haaland celebration after the first game back where all the Borussia Dortmund players did the social-distancing celebration. They could all take a knee.

    ‘Racism’s not about black players or brown fans. It’s about all of us. Racism corrodes society and we’re all hurt by it. Everyone should want to demonstrate their solidarity and disgust.’

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