Liverpool Players in Solidarity with Protests over Killing of George Floyd

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Liverpool were leading the Premier League by 25 points before the lockdown

* Abdul-Jabbar defends protests, says racism deadlier than Covid-19

Liverpool players took a knee around the centre-circle at Anfield in a message of support following the death in police custody of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA.

The picture featuring 29 Reds players came with the caption “Unity is strength. #BlackLivesMatter”. Players reportedly requested the picture during training on Monday.

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford added their voices to worldwide protests against racism.

Protests have been held after Floyd, an unarmed black man, died on 25 May after being restrained by white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes to pin him down.

Liverpool players that tweeted the same picture and message included defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, as well as James Milner and Andrew Robertson.

Also at the weekend, NBA legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar defended the protests in a powerful op-ed for the Los Angeles Times on Saturday, writing that while he doesn’t want to see stores looted or buildings burned, the protests are the result of what happens when black Americans have been pushed to their tipping point.

“African Americans have been living in a burning building for many years, choking on the smoke as the flames burn closer and closer.

“Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote.

Those who criticize the looting and fires, saying that those actions are hurting the protesters’ cause aren’t wrong, but they’re not right, either, the former Lakers star said.

“The black community is used to the institutional racism inherent in education, the justice system and jobs. And even though we do all the conventional things to raise public and political awareness — write articulate and insightful pieces in the Atlantic, explain the continued devastation on CNN, support candidates who promise change — the needle hardly budges …

“So, maybe the black community’s main concern right now isn’t whether protesters are standing three or six feet apart or whether a few desperate souls steal some T-shirts or even set a police station on fire, but whether their sons, husbands, brothers and fathers will be murdered by cops or wannabe cops just for going on a walk, a jog, a drive. Or whether being black means sheltering at home for the rest of their lives because the racism virus infecting the country is more deadly than COVID-19,” wrote the legendary former basketball player.

LeBron James also continued to speak about the death of George Floyd and the protests that have sprung up around the world over the weekend.

James took to Twitter in the early Sunday morning hours as protests continued in cities large and small across the United States.

“Why Doesn’t America Love US!!!!!????TOO,” James wrote with two hashtags and emojis.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar has been using his platform over the last week to draw attention to the death of Floyd and its aftermath.

James initially shared on Instagram a photo of the incident next to a photo of Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem.

“Do you understand NOW!!??!!??” he wrote.