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Thursday, 01 October 2020

Germany won't punish players for George Floyd protests

AP , Wednesday 3 Jun 2020
Moenchengladbach
Moenchengladbach's Marcus Thuram taking the knee after scoring his side's second goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Union Berlin in Moenchengladbach, Germany, Sunday, May 31, 2020. The German Bundesliga becomes the world's first major soccer league to resume after a two-month suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP)
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The German soccer federation will not punish players who protest against the killing of George Floyd and racism.

Several players in Germany have made statements with gestures or messages on their clothing since Floyd died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee for several minutes on his neck.

The federation, known as the DFB, said Wednesday it opposed punishing any players because it believes their anti-racism messages match the federation's own principles.

“The DFB has made a strong stand against any form of racism, discrimination or violence and stands for tolerance, openness and diversity, values which are also anchored in the DFB's statutes,” federation president Fritz Keller said in a statement. “Therefore the players' actions have our respect and our understanding.”

The statement named four players who protested during last weekend's games — Achraf Hakimi, Jadon Sancho, Weston McKennie and Marcus Thuram — but made clear the same approach would apply to any future protests.

Germany's approach has the backing of FIFA. The governing body of world soccer said Tuesday that such demonstrations “deserve an applause and not a punishment.”

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