Borussia Dortmund, Hertha Berlin Take Knee for George Floyd as Bundesliga Rallies for Black Lives Matter

Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin payers and coaching staff went down on one knee ahead of their Bundesliga match in tribute to George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests.

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Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin took a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests on Saturday as players across the Bundesliga showed support for demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd.

Both teams gathered around the centre circle and knelt ahead of their league game, which is being played in an empty Signal Iduna Park stadium in Dortmund due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The coaches and their staff on the benches also joined in.

Earlier this week the German Football Association (DFB) ruled that players were free to show their support for protests over the death of Floyd. Several players last week lifted their shirts to show messages in support of the protests.

The DFB said it would take no action against symbols of solidarity with the protests in the U.S. and across the world.

The protests have been sparked by the May 25 killing of Floyd in Minneapolis after a white officer detaining him knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as fellow officers stood by.

Dortmund players also wore messages on their T-shirts during their pre-match warm-up in honour of Floyd, a black American man who died in Minneapolis last month while being arrested by police officers.

Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi wore the messages "no justice, no peace", while midfielders Axel Witsel and Emre Can's T-shirts displayed the words "black", "white" and "yellow" crossed out, with the word "human" below.

Earlier Pierre Kunde Malong also took a knee after scoring the second goal in Mainz's 2-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt.

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Union Berlin's Nigerian striker Anthony Ujah said he was "proud" of the Bundesliga players who staged on-pitch protests, and pledged to do the same if he scores against Schalke on Sunday.

"I am proud of the players who are taking a stand. I am proud of Jadon Sancho. I am proud of Weston McKennie. I am proud of Marcus Thuram. I am proud of Achraf Hakimi. The whole world saw their message," wrote Ujah in an article for German daily FAZ.

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German champions Bayern Munich players also, before the start to their 4-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, warmed up in T-shirts bearing both the Black Lives Matter hashtag and the slogan of the club's official "Reds Against Racism" campaign.

"As players, we always have the same message: we are tolerant, we are open, we are open to the world," Bayern captain Manuel Neuer told Sky after the game.

Bayern's players also wore black armbands bearing the words "Black Lives Matter" during the match.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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