NBA legend Michael Jordan decried ‘ingrained racism’ in the United States as the sports world’s reaction to the death of unarmed black man George Floyd leapt leagues and continents.
‘I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry,’ Jordan said Sunday, as protests over Floyd’s death on May 25 spawned violence and looting across the US. ‘I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country.
‘We have had enough,’ added Jordan, who was famously reluctant to comment on social issues during his playing career.
Floyd died after a white policeman in Minneapolis held his knee on the handcuffed man’s neck for several minutes.
‘We need to continue peaceful expressions against injustice and demand accountability,’ Jordan said.
World champion driver Lewis Hamilton lashed out at ‘white-dominated’ Formula One for failing to speak out against racism.
Hamilton warned ‘I know who you are and I see you’ as the Briton accused his fellow drivers of ‘staying silent in the midst of injustice’ following Floyd’s death.
French footballer Marcus Thuram and England international Jadon Sancho both mounted individual protests calling for justice for Floyd after scoring in Germany’s Bundesliga on Sunday.
Thuram took a knee after his goal for Borussia Moenchengladbach in a match against Union Berlin, while Sancho marked one of his three goals for Borussia Dortmund against Paderborn by lifting his jersey to reveal a T-shirt bearing the words ‘Justice for George Floyd’.
US tennis great Serena Williams posted an Instagram video featuring a young African-American girl overcome by emotion as she addressed a public meeting, finally able to force out the words: ‘We are black people, and we shouldn’t have to feel like this.’
Two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka, whose mother is Japanese and father Haitian, reminded her social media followers: ‘Just because it isn’t happening to you doesn’t mean it isn’t happening at all.’
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