German footballers call for racial justice in US during matches. After scoring in his team’s win at Paderborn on Sunday, Borussia Dortmund’s English winger Jadon Sancho lifted his shirt to reveal the message “Justice for George Floyd”. His team-mate Achraf Hakimi and Schalke’s American midfielder Weston McKennie expressed similar calls for justice, while Borussia Mönchengladbach’s French forward Marcus Thuram took a knee after scoring for his team in memory of Floyd.
Sancho scored his first hat trick in Borussia Dortmund’s 6-1 win at Paderborn, but removed his jersey after his first goal to reveal a T-shirt with the handwritten message “Justice for George Floyd” on the front. Sancho was given a yellow card for taking off his jersey, but it didn’t stop teammate Hakimi from lifting his shirt to reveal the same message after he grabbed Dortmund’s fourth goal in the 85th minute.
The international Football Association Board bans players from showing any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images but FIFA fully understands the depth of sentiment and concerns expressed by many footballers in light of the tragic circumstances of the George Floyd case. FIFA has long sought to keep soccer apolitical, at least as it’s displayed on the field. The Laws of the Game, which all FIFA-affiliated teams must follow, are clear on the matter:
- Equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images
- Players must not reveal undergarments that show political, religious, personal slogans, statements or images, or advertising other than the manufacturer’s logo
- Slogans referring to any person(s), living or dead or to any specific political act/event are forbidden.