The Bundesliga and German FA have confirmed that Marcus Thuram, Weston McKennie, Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi will not be punished for their message of support for George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN last week there have been widespread protests across the USA. A video showed former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, putting his knee on George Floyd’s neck for more than 8 1/2 minutes. Chauvin was arrested last Friday and charged with murder, authorities confirmed.
Over the weekend Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi revealed messages of support on their jerseys, while McKennie wore his armband saying ‘Justice for George’ and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram took a knee after he scored in the Bundesliga.
Clubs and players across Europe have since issued their support to the movement. As for the German FA, they said they are looking into potential breaches around rules on political, religious or personal slogans.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino called for ‘common sense’ to prevail over FIFA’s long-standing rules punishing players for wearing political, personal or religious messages on shirts or making gestures, while he added the four players should be ‘applauded not punished’ for their actions.
In a statement released Wednesday, the German FA and Bundesliga confirmed the quartet will not face any action over honoring George Floyd with their on-pitch protests.
“The DFB Control Committee will not initiate proceedings against Achraf Hakimi, Jadon Sancho, Weston McKennie and Marcus Thuram. The committee also intends to maintain this line in new anti-racism campaigns to mark the death of George Floyd on the coming match days.”
DFB vice president, Dr. Rainer Koch, added: “Of course, the DFB control committee always has the requirements of the FIFA football rules and the DFB regulations in mind. In the specific case, however, these are targeted anti-racism campaigns by the players, which are therefore committed to values for which the DFB also stands for and always stands for. Therefore, no proceedings will be initiated, even with comparable anti-racism campaigns, in the next few weeks.”
DFB President Fritz Keller said: “The DFB is firmly opposed to all forms of racism, discrimination and violence and stands for tolerance, openness and diversity – i.e. values, which are also enshrined in the DFB statutes. Therefore the actions of the players have our respect and understanding.”