Kick it Out chairman encourages all Premier League players to take a knee amid George Floyd protests

George Flood
Liverpool FC/Twitter

Kick it Out chairman Sanjay Bhandari has encouraged all players to take a knee in solidarity in the fight against racism following the killing of George Floyd in America.

Demonstrations have erupted across the USA and the wider world after African-American Mr Floyd - who was handcuffed and unarmed - died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota last week after white officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for at least eight minutes.

Scores of sportspeople, clubs and organisations have now used their public platforms to join calls for change and an end to systemic racism, brutality and injustice, including several Bundesliga players who protested during the latest round of fixtures.

Jadon Sancho and Marcus Thuram led those protests, with the latter taking a knee in a goal celebration over the weekend - akin to quarterback Colin Kaepernick who knelt at NFL games to protest against racial injustice.

And on Monday, Liverpool's players - at their own request - had pictures taken of them taking a knee around the centre circle at Anfield in a show of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

"If you score a goal and take a knee could everyone do that? Not just the black players, the white players too, everyone. Every player should do it," Bhandari told the Guardian.

"It should be teams doing it... They could all take a knee. Racism's not about black players or brown fans, it's about all of us. Racism corrodes society and we're all hurt by it."

Bhandari said he hoped players would not be cautioned or punished for expressing their support in a manner they saw fit.

"I would like to encourage the players to protest if they want to but I would also like to encourage them to do it in a way that doesn't expose them to unnecessary sanction," he added.

"I would urge all the authorities and all the clubs to show a degree of understanding. This is almost above politics, this is about right and wrong."

Additional reporting by Reuters