Marcus Thuram celebrates goal by taking a knee in Bundesliga as protests continue

Moenchengladbach's Marcus Thuram reacts 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 Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Borussia Mönchengladbach's Marcus Thuram takes a knee to celebrate a goal. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)

Marcus Thuram celebrated a goal by taking a knee during Bundesliga play on Sunday.

The Borussia Mönchengladbach striker scored in the 41st minute against Union Berlin to put his team up 2-0. He first celebrated with his teammates and then took a knee near the top of the box for a few seconds.

Gladbach went on to win 4-0. The team Twitter account shared a photo of the moment with “no explanation needed,” all but solidifying it was in reference to the death of George Floyd.

Thuram, 22, is the son of Lilian Thuram, a defender for France’s 1998 World Cup-winning squad. He also won the European Championship two years after.

Lilian Thuram has been outspoken about racism in soccer, including in the last few years as incidents have grown in number. In a new book reviewed by The Guardian last week, Thuram shares details of the racism he grew up with in France and dealt with throughout his career. He’s also a UNICEF ambassador.

Sancho wears ‘justice’ for floyd shirt

Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho also used his goal celebration to honor Floyd. The English soccer player scored in the 57th minute against Paderborn and revealed a “Justice for George Floyd” shirt he showed to the camera.

Sancho, 20, had a hat trick and Dortmund cruised to a 6-1 final. Achraf Hakimi also scored and showed a similar “Justice for George Floyd” shirt.

Germany’s Bundesliga is one of the few leagues that has returned to match play during the COVID-19 crisis. United States men’s national team midfielder Weston McKennie also plays in Germany, and on Saturday wore an armband that read “Justice for George.”

Athletes stand with Floyd

The stands of solidarity come amid days of protests across the country and the world in reaction to the death of Floyd, a black man who died while in police custody early last week after a white officer was caught on camera with a knee to his neck.

Athletes have been vocal on social-media platforms and in the streets with some leading protests. It has also re-upped the conversation over former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s choice to take a knee during the national anthem to bring attention to social justice and police brutality concerns.

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