Premier League players condemn racism in show of support for Black Lives Matter

Aston Villa, Premier League, Black Lives Matter jersey (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Aston Villa, Premier League, Black Lives Matter jersey (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images) /

Premier League players speak up as the league restarts.

The day marking the long-awaited return of the Premier League finally arrived. Though there can be no fans in the stadiums at the moment, fans around the world have their eyes glued to their televisions to watch their favourite teams compete again.

The opening game between Aston Villa and Sheffield United saw the players, staff, and referees kneeling in protest of racial injustice and black oppression while honouring the black lives tragically lost that have brought the Black Lives Matter movement to the forefront of people’s lives around the world.

The kneeling has continued through each of the league’s opening matches.

Each team is also sporting jerseys with Black Lives Matter written across the back in lieu of the player’s names. In the greater scheme of things, these are small actions but are appreciated steps in the right direction towards racial justice and equality.

The Premier League took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce the jersey changes.

Unfortunately, the world of soccer is far from immune to racism.

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Just take the French National Team where the black players were accused of not being true Frenchmen but were suddenly embraced by their countrymen the moment they walked away with a World Cup trophy.

Or on a more personal note, just talk to my brother who’s had to keep it together while being called the n-word numerous times on the field.

But the sport still provides an incredible opportunity to bring people together and celebrate people of all races and colours.

As one of the top professional leagues in the world, the Premier League and the players and staff within it have a platform to speak out against racial injustice, and it’s important that they’ve taken a definitive stance in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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These actions on the part of the league and its players at least succeed in keeping the conversation about racial injustice alive.