Sports players around the world break their silence amid widespread protests in the US.

Protests have continued to rock the US in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American who died after being choked to death by a white police officer.

Now, a number of international sports personalities have added their voices in support of those protesting.

The French-Italian professional footballer, Marcus Thuram, who plays as a forward in the German Bundesliga, dropped to one knee praising the outpouring as a “powerful gesture” of support.

Lilian Thuram, Marcus' father, has been a longtime anti-racism activist, calling out "white supremacy" in the footballing world.

Four years ago, the NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, knelt down during the national anthem before a match. He was protesting at the continuing institutional racism in the US that affects African Americans.

The trend that Kaepernick began, spread throughout the National Football League (NFL) and drew criticism from US President Donald Trump who urged team owners to let players go. After Kaepernick’s protests, no NFL Team would sign the player.

England forward Jadon Malik Sancho took a page out of Thuram’s book. The Borussia Dortmund player revealed a message on his T-shirt at the weekend after scoring. It read, “Justice for George Floyd”.

In a tweet, Sancho said “First professional hat trick. A bittersweet moment personally as there are more important things going on in the world today that we must address and help make a change.” 

Liverpool player, Rhian Joel Brewster, wrote in a lengthy Twitter post about his ongoing experience with racist abuse.

“Unfortunately for us black/brown people etc, this is a real life & everyday occurrence in so many different ways. For years & generations we’ve been screaming out for change and to be heard,” said the 20-year-old striker. 

Brewster added that “This goes beyond just #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd, we need justice for us as Human beings. We don’t want special privilege.” 

Other athletes speak out

British athlete, Dina Asher-Smith, echoed the views of protestors in the US and said “Racism, police brutality... all of this is something we all have to be vocal about. Irrespective of our race or nationality.”

The British sprinter also referred to NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his peaceful protests adding, “This is why people kneel.”

American tennis player and 16-year-old Cori "Coco" Gauff added her voice to the sentiments, saying she was in “tears” after having watched the video.

Serena Williams, the former world number one Tennis player, and 23-time Grand Slam champion, said on her social media account, “I can’t and still can’t find the words to say or express how sad I feel.”

Williams added that this was just one of many instances African-Americans have suffered at the hands of police violence.

“The worst part is this is nothing new, “it’s just filmed, she said. “I’m with a heavy heart.” 

Michael Jordan, arguably the world's most famous basketball player, also spoke out on Sunday.

“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry," said Jordan in a statement posted online. 

In an Instagram story, Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, also criticised his mainly “white-dominated” industry for not speaking out. 

“I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest of stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice,” said 35-year-old Hamilton.

“There can be no peace until our so called leaders make change,” he added.

Source: TRT World