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Sancho leads ‘Justice for George Floyd’ protests in Germany

Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund celebrates scoring his teams second goal of the game with a 'Justice for George Floyd' shirt during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Paderborn 07 and Borussia Dortmund at Benteler Arena in Paderborn, Germany, Sunday, May 31, 2020. Because of the coronavirus outbreak all soccer matches of the German Bundesliga take place without spectators. (Lars Baron/Pool via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Jadon Sancho joined protests across German soccer at the weekend by lifting his jersey after scoring to reveal a T-shirt with the handwritten message “Justice for George Floyd” on the front.

Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee for several minutes on his neck.

Sancho was shown a yellow card for his gesture which came after he scored the second goal for Borussia Dortmund against Paderborn on Sunday.

Earlier, Marcus Thuram took a knee after scoring in Borussia Mönchengladbach’s win over Union Berlin. The Gladbach forward scored in the first half and then dropped his left knee to the ground and rested his right arm on his right thigh as he bowed his head in reflection. He spent five seconds in this position before getting up again to continue.

“No explanation needed,” Gladbach said on Twitter with a picture of Thuram kneeling.

It evoked memories of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the American national anthem before games to protest police brutality and racial inequality amid the Black Lives Matter movement.

The 22-year-old Thuram, who also scored Gladbach’s third goal, made no comment on his gesture after the game.

“He got to the point,” Gladbach coach Marco Rose said. “He made a sign against racism, one we all completely support of course. I believe that everyone fully supports it, that everyone has the same thoughts he does.”

Thuram is the son of French World Cup winner Lilian Thuram, an outspoken antiracism campaigner.

Floyd’s death and footage of his neck pinned under Chauvin’s knee reignited fury over the treatment of African-Americans at the hands of police, leading to nightly protests and violent clashes with law enforcement throughout the United States.

On Saturday, Schalke’s American midfielder Weston McKennie wore an armband with the handwritten message “Justice for George” around his left arm. McKennie later said on Twitter: “We have to stand up for what we believe in and I believe that it is time that we are heard!”

McKennie also said that he felt good using his platform to address a long-standing problem.

In Sunday’s games, Gladbach beat Union Berlin 4-1 while Dortmund routed Paderborn 6-1. Schalke lost 1-0 to Werder Bremen on Saturday.

Dortmund stayed seven points behind Bayern Munich in second place.

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