Football Must Do More To Combat Racism Than The Take Knee – Lukaku

Chelsea’s Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku gestures toward supporters at the end of the English Premier League football match against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London on August 22, 2021. JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

 

Romelu Lukaku says football must take “stronger” action in the fight against racism, questioning the impact of players taking the knee before Premier League matches.

Lukaku’s Chelsea team-mate Marcos Alonso this week explained his decision to stop making the gesture, deciding instead to stand and point to the “No To Racism” badge on his shirt.

Last season, Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha stopped taking the knee, labelling it “degrading” and opting to stand instead.

Belgium international Lukaku understands those opinions, pointing to the continuing online abuse aimed at black players.

“I think we can take stronger positions, basically,” Lukaku told CNN Sport.

“Yeah, we are taking the knee but in the end everybody’s clapping but sometimes after the game, you see another insult.”

Lukaku wants high-profile players to sit down with social media bosses and other stakeholders to help tackle the issue of racism on their platforms.

“The captains of every team, and four or five players, like the big personalities of every team, should have a meeting with the CEOs of Instagram and governments and the FA (Football Association) and the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association), and we should just sit around the table and have a big meeting about it,” Lukaku said.

“I think all of us together, have a big meeting and talk about stuff that needs to be addressed to protect the players.

“If you want to stop something, you can really do it.”

Lukaku was speaking to CNN Sport around the launch of Chelsea’s “No To Hate” photography competition, which is encouraging fans of the club around the world to send in their photos that show the diversity within the Chelsea community.

“I think right now, from the owner to us, the players, we as a club, we are really putting out a statement and taking a position that stuff like that should not be tolerated,” Lukaku said.

Racist Abusers To Be Banned From Football Stadiums – UK PM

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the energy company Bulb in central London on July 8, 2021.

 

 

 

 

Laws banning football hooligans in England from attending matches will be extended to target those responsible for racially abusing players on social media, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday.

The proposed change to football banning orders follows a deluge of abuse being directed at several black England players after the team’s defeat in the Euro 2020 final against Italy on Sunday.

“What we’re doing is today taking practical steps to ensure that the football banning order regime is changed, so that if you are guilty… of racist abuse online of footballers then you will not be going to the match,” he told MPs.

The banning orders, created in 1989 to stop known English hooligans causing trouble at and around domestic and overseas matches, are managed by the Football Banning Orders Authority.

Responding to an urgent question on the issue in parliament, junior interior minister Victoria Atkins — whose department is responsible for the unit — conceded using the orders to tackle the trolls, who are often overseas, would be “complex”.

“But we want very much to work with football clubs and others to ensure these orders have the powers that we all want them to have,” she added.

Greater Manchester Police in northwest England said a 37-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of an offence under the Malicious Communications Act after social media posts directed at England players.

The offence carries penalties of a maximum two-year prison sentence and/or an unlimited fine.

‘Face fines’

A scene from the Euro 2020 finals showing ticketless fans storming Wembley stadium
Photo credit : Givemesport

 

The government is under growing pressure to act on the issue, with an online petition launched Monday demanding lifelong bans from games for those guilty of racist abuse — online or offline — attracting more than a million signatories.

However, Johnson and his ministers have faced withering criticism for failing to condemn promptly England fans who booed their own players taking the knee before matches early in the tournament.

Johnson met with representatives from the leading social media companies on Tuesday in what he said was part of a concerted approach to tackle the problem.

“Unless they get hate and racism off their platforms, they will face fines amounting to 10 percent of their global revenues, and we all know they have the technology to do it,” he said, referring to the government’s planned “online harms bill.”

Johnson noted he had held the initial discussions with Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram.

But opposition politicians branded the moves as too little, too late while attacking Johnson’s own record on race in his former life as a newspaper columnist.

Johnson made a number of heavily criticised comments, including once describing Africans as “flag-waving piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”.

He has also likened veiled Muslim woman to “letterboxes”. On Wednesday, Johnson said his past comments had been taken “out of context”.

“The legacy of this prime minister’s dog whistling has followed him into 10 Downing Street and it is now at the heart of this Tory government,” said the Scottish National Party’s leader in the UK parliament, Ian Blackford.

“It is shameful that it took until last night for the prime minister to meet with the main social media companies.”

-AFP

Capitol Riot: Police Would Have Treated Black Protesters ‘Very Differently’ – Biden

US President-elect Joe Biden answers questions from the press at The Queen in Wilmington, Delaware on November 16, 2020. ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP
File photo: US President-elect Joe Biden ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP

 

President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday accused US authorities of treating pro-Trump protesters more leniently than anti-racism demonstrators who were forcibly dispersed by police in Washington last year.

“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday… they wouldn’t have been treated very, very different than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol,” Biden said.

“We all know that’s true, and it is unacceptable.”

‘Darkest days’ in US history

The President-elect assailed Donald Trump a day after pro-Trump rioters smashed their way into the Capitol, saying the outgoing leader had caused one of the “darkest days” in US history.

“He unleashed an all-out assault on the institutions of our democracy from the outset,” Biden said.

Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol was “one of the darkest days in the history of our nation,” he added.

Police Officer Fired After Killing Unarmed Black Man

 

A white police officer who shot dead a Black man in Columbus, Ohio, last week was fired on Monday, city officials said.

The death of Andre Maurice Hill triggered outrage in a country that has been racked by protests against police brutality and systemic racism since the spring.

The 47-year-old African-American was in the garage of a house when he was shot several times by a police officer who had been called to the scene for a minor incident.

The officer, Adam Coy, was initially suspended after the shooting.

READ ALSO: Fresh Outrage Erupts In US As Policeman Kills Unarmed Black Man

“The evidence provided solid rationale for termination,” said Columbus police chief Thomas Quinlan. “Mr Coy will now have to answer to the state investigators for the death of Andre Hill.”

Hill, who was not armed at the time of the shooting, was the second African-American killed by police in less than three weeks in Columbus.

“Andre Hill’s death is another tragic example of the tendency of police to view Black people as criminal or dangerous, and it points to the need for comprehensive, national police reform,” said Ben Crump, a lawyer who has represented the families of several of the victims of police killings, including that of George Floyd, whose death in May triggered the biggest wave of racial protests in decades.

No Place For Racism In Football Or Life – Neymar

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar looks on during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Istanbul Basaksehir FK at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on December 9, 2020. FRANCK FIFE / AFP
Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar looks on during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Istanbul Basaksehir FK at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on December 9, 2020. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar defended the decision of his team and Istanbul Basaksehir to walk off the pitch in this week’s Champions League match following alleged racist remarks by an official, as the world’s most expensive player stated racism “has no place in football or in life”.

“What happened was unacceptable. In the times we live in we cannot accept differences being made like that about colour or race,” Neymar told French broadcaster RMC Sport after scoring a hat-trick when the game was restarted on Wednesday, with PSG winning 5-1.

“It has no place in football, or in life, or in any sport, so our attitude was perfect.”

The match in Paris was halted in the 14th minute on Tuesday as a row erupted amid accusations the Romanian fourth official had used a racist term to describe Basaksehir’s Cameroonian assistant coach, Pierre Webo.

With Basaksehir refusing to come back out unless the official was removed, the game was played to a finish 24 hours later with a new refereeing team.

Meanwhile, European football’s governing body UEFA has opened an investigation into the unprecedented incidents.

“Sometimes in extreme circumstances these things need to be done to see if the world can change a little,” said Neymar, who together with other players took a knee before the restart on Wednesday in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

‘The fault of one person’

PSG had already qualified for the last 16 before the restart, but they needed to beat Basaksehir to finish top of their group and Kylian Mbappe scored their other two goals in a one-sided game.

Neymar added: “Yesterday I wasn’t very happy because we had prepared ourselves for the game, and so to go back home, then get the body warmed up again for the next day, is very hard, but we all accepted it. We all decided to do it together.”

Meanwhile, Basaksehir coach Okan Buruk accused the Romanian referee, Ovidiu Hategan, of failing to properly manage the situation after the alleged comments made by the fourth official, Sebastian Coltescu.

“The fourth official used an unacceptable word to Pierre Achille Webo. The referee should have dealt with the situation properly but didn’t. We had to show that we were with Webo,” Buruk said.

“The players decided to stop. Some of them didn’t want to come back out. We are a team and we had to stick together.”

He added: “UEFA did the right thing by making it possible to play the next day.

“Webo was upset. We all gave him our support, but it’s someone else who should feel bad and that is the person who used the words. He is the guilty one.

“We have to show that we can all live together. Humanity is the most important thing.”

The incident drew a reaction from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is understood to have close links to the Turkish champions.

However, Buruk played down suggestions that the row could spill over into a diplomatic issue.

“There are no problems between Turkey and Romania. It is the fault of one person, not an entire country,” he said.

AFP

Premier League Players Should Keep On ‘Taking The Knee’ In Racism Fight, Says Kane

Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane appeals during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on November 29, 2020.
MATTHEW CHILDS / POOL / AFP

 

England captain Harry Kane says Premier League players should carry on taking the knee in support of the fight against racial injustice, using their profile to raise awareness of the issue.

Clubs began making the symbolic gesture before kick-off when football resumed after the coronavirus hiatus last season, and it has continued into the current campaign.

“I think we are a huge platform to share our voices across the world, to be honest,” Kane told the BBC.

“Obviously we have done a lot with Black Lives Matter and taking the knee before games.

“I hear people talking about taking the knee and whether we should still be doing it, and for me I think we should.”

Kane said regular supporters were seeing the same gesture repeated every week but it was important to educate new fans.

“I think if you look around the world, you see children watching the game for the first time, seeing us all take a knee and asking their parents why — I think it’s a great chance for people to explain why,” he added.

“I think education is the biggest thing we can do. Adults can teach generations what it means, and what it means to be together and help each other, no matter what your race.”

Kane was England skipper in October last year when their 6-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Bulgaria in Sofia was marred by racist chanting by home supporters.

“Myself, I’ve never been racially abused, I don’t know how that feels,” said the Tottenham striker.

“But my role is just to be there as a captain, a team-mate, and a friend. You want to be there for them, to listen to them and talk to them.

“As a player, I was embarrassed to be on that pitch and see that abuse to my friends and team-mates. I was proud of how everyone wanted to carry on and show on the pitch that we wanted to win.”

-AFP

Neymar Avoids Sanction After Alleged Racism, Homophobia

Handout picture released by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) showing Brazilian football star Neymar, who is to make his 100th appearance with the national team in a friendly match against Senegal, speaking during a press conference in Singapore on October 9, 2019. 
Lucas FIGUEIREDO / Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) / AFP

 

Paris Saint-German’s Neymar and Marseille’s Alvaro Gonzalez have avoided punishment after allegedly making racist and homophobic remarks in the meeting between the sides earlier this month, the French league (LFP) announced on Wednesday.

The world’s most expensive player was accused of making the remarks towards Marseille’s Japan right-back Hiroki Sakai and Gonzalez.

The Brazil attacker claimed the Spanish centre-back had called him a “monkey”.

“The disciplinary commission states that it does not have sufficient proof to allow it to establish the substance of the facts concerning discriminatory language,” the LFP said.

Marseille’s victory at Parc des Princes on September 13 was marred by an injury-time scuffle which saw five players red-carded.

Neymar was sent off for slapping Gonzalez on the back of the head and was given a two-match ban for the incident.

Last week, PSG’s Angel Di Maria received a four-match ban for spitting during the fixture.

 

 

 

-AFP

Protests Erupt In Los Angeles After Police Kill Black Man

us-killing
A man holds a sign stating “How Many More?” at a makeshift memorial on September 1, 2020, in Los Angeles, at the location where Dijon Kizzee was shot and killed the previous day by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies.  Robyn Beck / AFP

 

 

Protesters demanded answers on Tuesday as they gathered in a south Los Angeles neighbourhood where sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a black man during a violent confrontation the previous day.

The man, identified as 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee, was riding his bicycle when deputies tried to stop him for a code violation, according to the sheriff’s department.

Kizzee ran away and when deputies caught up to him, he punched one of them in the face while dropping a bundle of clothing he was carrying, authorities said.

“The deputies noticed that inside the clothing items that he dropped was a black semiautomatic handgun, at which time a deputy-involved shooting occurred,” Lieutenant Brandon Dean, of the LA County Sheriff’s Department, told reporters.

Dean said it was unclear which vehicle code Kizzee allegedly violated.

Soon after the deadly confrontation, more than 100 people gathered at the scene demanding answers.

A small crowd gathered again Tuesday evening at the site of the shooting and peacefully marched, along with a caravan of cars, to the sheriff’s station nearby as a police helicopter hovered overhead.

Some of the protesters carried a banner that read “Stop Killer Cops.”

The shooting came as protests against police violence and racism have roiled the country in recent months following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

Civil right attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Kizzee’s family, said he was shot more than 20 times and urged witnesses on Twitter to contact him with any information.

“They say he ran, dropped clothes and handgun,” Crump, who is also representing Floyd’s family, said in a tweet. “He didn’t pick it up, but cops shot him in the back 20+ times then left him for hours.”

Deja, a woman who witnessed the shooting told AFP that she yelled “don’t shoot him, don’t shoot him” as the deputies tried to stop Kizzee.

– ‘We are tired’ –

“They were trying to grab and take his stuff away from him and then finally when it failed, he turned around to run and they tased him in the back of his leg,” said Deja, who would only give her first name. “He turned around and then they shot him.”

 

People place candles at a makeshift memorial on September 1, 2020, in Los Angeles, California at the location where Dijon Kizzee was shot and killed on August 31 by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies.  Robyn Beck / AFP

 

Deja said she didn’t see Kizzee holding a gun and added that deputies handcuffed him after the shooting. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kizzee’s aunt Fletcher Fair told reporters she believes her nephew’s race was a factor in the shooting.

“They (police) don’t kill any other race but us and this don’t make any sense,” she told a press conference.

“Why us? You have Asians … Hispanics even don’t get killed as much as we do. It’s just us and we’re tired,” she said.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva offered his sympathy to the family, saying a member of his own department is one of Kizzee’s cousins.

Last week, police in Kenosha, Wisconsin also shot a black man — Jacob Blake — in front of his three young sons and left him paralyzed following an altercation.

The shooting prompted demonstrations in several cities and led to violent clashes in Kenosha that left two people dead.

President Donald Trump visited the city on Tuesday despite pleas to stay away and claims he is dangerously fanning tensions as a re-election ploy.

AFP

George Floyd Said Officers Would ‘Kill’ Him In New Recording Transcript

These images taken on May 25, 2020, from a video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd. Darnella Frazier / Facebook/Darnella Frazier / AFP
These images taken on May 25, 2020, from a video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd. Darnella Frazier / Facebook/Darnella Frazier / AFP

 

 

George Floyd said he couldn’t breathe more than 20 times, called out for his children and late mother and said officers would “kill” him before he died in Minneapolis police custody, new evidence showed.

Floyd, a black man, died on May 25 when a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. His death has unleashed a massive wave of protests against systemic racism and police brutality in the United States and inspired demos across the world.

Video of his death went viral and showed Floyd shouting “I can’t breathe” and calling for his mother as he suffocated.

But transcripts of the police officers’ body camera footage, filed Tuesday in Minnesota state court by Thomas Lane, one of the officers involved in Floyd’s death, has revealed new details about his final moments.

When the officers first arrested him, Floyd begged them not to put him in the police car, telling them he was claustrophobic and in physical distress.

As they tried to force him into the car, Floyd cried out that he couldn’t breathe and was “going to die in here.”

Later, according to the transcript, he said, “Momma, I love you. Tell my kids I love them. I’m dead.” He called for his mother and children several more times.

Throughout his arrest, Floyd said “I can’t breathe” more than 20 times. The officers can be heard telling him to “relax,” and that he was doing “fine” and “talking fine.”

At one point, as Floyd insisted they were going to kill him, officer Derek Chauvin shouted, “Then stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.”

– ‘I can’t breathe’ –
According to the transcript, Floyd’s last words were, “They’re going to kill me. They’re going to kill me. I can’t breathe.”

The transcript was submitted Tuesday by Lane to have the charges that he aided and abetted in Floyd’s murder thrown out by a judge.

He and the other three officers involved — Chauvin, Tou Thao and Alexander Kueng — were all fired from the Minneapolis police force one day after Floyd’s death and charged in his murder. They each face up to 40 years behind bars.

Chauvin, who knelt on the handcuffed 46-year-old’s neck, faces second and third-degree murder charges.

Thao and Kueng, like Lane, have been charged with aiding and abetting a murder.

The bystander video of Floyd’s death stunned and horrified Americans, igniting protests and riots in cities across the country and sparking a national debate on racism and police violence.

Floyd was detained for the minor charge of attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill, and while in handcuffs, two of the officers held him down on the street while Chauvin pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck and the fourth officer stood watch.

 

-AFP

Man City’s Mendy Says Football Can Help Fight Racism

France’s defender Benjamin Mendy arrives in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines on November 12, 2018, as part of the team’s preparation for the upcoming Nations League football match against the Netherlands and a friendly football match against Uruguay.
FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy says football can be a powerful weapon in the fight against racism as Premier League players continue to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Since the English top-flight resumed last week, players have taken the knee after kick-off to show their support for the battle against racism.

France international Mendy, 25, grew up in an inclusive culture and hopes the powerful messages football has the capacity to send can make a big impact in wider society.

“I grew up in Paris and we all go to school, to the academy with white people, mixed-race people, Asian people, black people,” he said.

“The way I lived with them we are all the same, all a family.”

Mendy said football had the platform to make a difference.

“We can find a solution but I think we need to be all together and send a big message because what happens is not normal,” he said.

READ ALSO: UN Urges ‘Moratorium’ On Facial Recognition Tech Use In Protests

Mendy joined City in 2017 but his first two seasons at the club were ravaged by injury, including two serious knee problems that required surgery.

He now feels in good shape and is determined to make his mark at the Etihad Stadium.

“This is my time,” he said. “All the time I lost was not the same because I was injured.

“The way Manchester City, the staff, the players were behind me, helped me, pushed me, I want to give them the real Mendy back.

“Even in the first game you are back you are expected to be at the top because people watch the game for that. They don’t have time to say he was injured.

“They want a good performance and I understand that and it gives me more motivation to work hard. I think now I am in one my best periods at Manchester City.”

AFP

New York City To Remove Roosevelt Statue Over Racism Concerns

New York City Police Department (NYPD) patrol in a closed off Times Square shorty before the 11 p.m. curfew went into effect June 1, 2020 as demonstrators rallied across the five boroughs in a call for justice for George Floyd. TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP.

 

New York City announced Sunday it would remove a statue of former US President Theodore Roosevelt long criticized as a racist and colonialist symbol, but the move drew criticism from Donald Trump.

The decision comes with the United States gripped by widespread protests against racial inequality — sparked by the killing in police custody of George Floyd, an unarmed black man — with demonstrators toppling a number of statues of figures with racist legacies.

The bronze sculpture of Roosevelt, which has been at the entrance of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) for 80 years, depicts the former leader on horseback towering over a black man and a Native American man — who are both on foot.

Citing the ongoing movement for racial justice, the museum said: “We also have watched as the attention of the world and the country has increasingly turned to statues and monuments as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism.”

The Roosevelt statue, it added, “has long been controversial because of the hierarchical composition that places one figure on horseback and the others walking alongside, and many of us find its depictions of the Native American and African figures and their placement in the monument racist.”

New York City authorities agreed to the museum’s request to remove the statue,

“It explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.

“The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”

Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th US president at the beginning of the 20th century, and while he was celebrated as a conservationist and progressive at the time, he also held racist views towards black and Native American people, according to the AMNH website.

A Roosevelt family member released a statement approving the removal.

“The world does not need statues, relics of another age, that reflect neither the values of the person they intend to honor nor the values of equality and justice,” said Theodore Roosevelt IV, aged 77, a great-grandson.

“The composition of the Equestrian Statue does not reflect Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy. It is time to move the statue and move forward.”

But President Donald Trump criticized the decision to remove the statue, tweeting: “Ridiculous, don’t do it!”

Trump had called on police to arrest demonstrators who took down a statue of Confederate general Albert Pike in Washington DC on Friday.

The protests against racial inequality and police brutality have seen the toppling or removal of statues depicting Confederate generals, colonial figures and slave traders in the United States, Britain and New Zealand.

The figures targeted by protesters have included Christopher Columbus and British colonialist Cecil Rhodes.

AFP

Canada Probes Racism Claim Against Its Indigenous Citizens

 In this file photo Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on January 9, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. Dave Chan / AFP
In this file photo, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on January 9, 2020, in Ottawa, Canada. Dave Chan / AFP

 

Canadian authorities are probing claims that doctors and nurses placed bets on the blood alcohol level of indigenous patients who sought emergency treatment at a British Columbia hospital.

Hospital staff would try to guess the blood alcohol level of patients they thought were indigenous, said rights group Metis Nation BC.

The game was called “Price is Right”, a reference to a game show where contestants guess the price of merchandise.

“If true, it is intolerable, unacceptable and racist,” said provincial health minister Adrian Dix on Friday, adding that an investigation had been launched.

A 2019 report said racism against indigenous people was widespread in the province’s health system, Metis Nation BC president Daniel Fontaine told public broadcaster CBC.

“First Nations, Metis and Inuit patients seeking emergency medical services in British Columbia are often assumed to be intoxicated and denied medical assessments,” the group said in a statement.

This contributes “to worsening health conditions resulting in unnecessary harm or death,” it added.