‘Black Lives Matter’ Replaces Players' Names on Premier League Soccer Jerseys
Players will have the area of the jersey where their names go and will be replaced with Black Lives Matter.
As England’s famed Premier League sets to resume Wednesday following a lockdown for over three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, players will be wearing special jerseys to commemorate the Black Lives Matter movement.
The area of the jersey that displays players names will instead read "Black Lives Matter."
The jerseys will be worn for the first 12 matches of the return leg of the season.
BBC Sport says that Watford captain Troy Deeney and Leicester City's Wes Morgan played a pivotal role in the discussions between club captains and the Premier League in order to push for the jerseys to honor the Black Lives Matter movement which has now gone global following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery this year.
After the initial 12 matches, a special Black Lives Matter badge will be on all of the jerseys for the rest of the season as well as a badge thanking NHS staff for their work during the coronavirus outbreak.
BBC Sport reports that Deeney's girlfriend, Alisha Hosannah, has designed the Black Lives Matter badge for the jerseys.
"We, the players, stand together with the singular objective of eradicating racial prejudice," read a statement from the players association.
The English Premier League boasts a handful of American players, including Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic and Newcastle’s DeAndre Yeldin.
Even though the return of soccer is a joyful occasion for players and fans, the matches will be played behind closed doors due to the conoravirus pandemic and the new jerseys are a way for players to voice their support.
On Friday, Italian soccer club AC Milan sported special Black Lives Matter warm-up jerseys as they returned to the pitch after nearly 100 days away to play a Coppa Italia semi final against Christiano Ronaldo and Juventus.
AC Milan, who has no American players at their club, said in a statement that “Silence is not an option: say no to racism!”
England forward Jadon Sancho, who plays for German club Borussia Dortmund, unveiled a DIY “Justice for George Floyd” shirt last month after scoring in a May 31 match. The player lifted his jersey to unveil a T-shirt with his phrase written across it.
"We shouldn't fear speaking out for what's right, we have to come together as one and fight for justice," he later wrote on social media. "We are stronger together!"
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