BY THEREDNOW STAFF
Collingwood and Richmond AFL players took a knee before their match last night (11 June) in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis, the movement has seen a massive resurgence in America and around the world. Black people voicing the everyday racism they encounter and are calling for change.
As a way of showing their support for the movement, the players knelt on the ground for 30 seconds at a crowd-less MCG. It was meant to mirror the silent protest undertaken by NFL player Colin Kaepernick in 2016.
Channel 7 commentator Bruce McAvaney said the moment was poignant and appropriate amid the current atmosphere in Australia.
“Tonight’s gesture is one of support, unity and respect, driven by the Collingwood and Richmond playing groups,” McAvaney said.
“We stand in solidarity with our Indigenous brothers and sisters and all people of colour. There is no place for racism. The knee is an expression of that support. We see strength in diversity – it makes us better as a football club and as a community.
“We will be there for each other always, especially at a time when many have been impacted by what is happening around the world. We will continue to learn and walk this journey together.”
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan backed the public display of support for the campaign, telling Channel 7: “It’s a very important issue for our players, for our clubs and the AFL. Racism needs to be stamped out.”