The Premier League, in a statement on Friday said
“The league supports the players wish to have their names replaced by Black Lives Matter on the back of their shirts for the first matches of the restarted 2019/20 season. In addition, the League will support players who ‘take a knee’ before or during matches.”
This is inspired by the recent agitations brought about by the killing of George Floyd, a Black American, by a police officer who knelt on his neck in the name of constraining him for several minutes on May 25, in the United States.
A statement made in unity by players from all 20 EPL club said
“We, the players, stand together with the singular objective of eradicating racial prejudice wherever it exists, to bring about a global society of inclusion, respect, and equal opportunities for all, regardless of their color or creed.
This symbol is a sign of unity from all players, all staff, all clubs, all match officials and Premier League #blacklivesmatter #playerstogether.”
This isn’t first act of anti-racism symbolism in football, as several Bundesliga have been preceded by both teams taking a knee prior to kick-off in recent weeks.
The Premier League is set to return on June 17 with Manhester City hosting Arsenal and Aston Villa hosting Sheffield United.
A full round of 10 fixtures will then take place between June 19 and 22 with Black Lives Matter on the back of players’ shirts.
For the remaining 80 matches of the campaign, a Black Lives Matter logo will feature on shirts along with a badge thanking Britain’s National Health Service for their work during the corona virus crisis.