After completing a match in which the words “Black Lives Matter” were emblazoned on the backs of all of his players, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola came out with some pointed words on racial injustice.
Pointing to four centuries of atrocities and unfair treatment against black people across the world, the Spanish coach said there is still much work to be done for social justice:
“We should send a thousand million messages for the black people, because more than four centuries, four hundred years, to do what we have done to this kind of lovely people, I’m embarrassed. I’m ashamed for what white people have done for the black people.
“All the gestures are good, are positive, but you have to do it with facts. I think it’s not going to be solved in a few days, but everything we can do to make conscious it isn’t acceptable in the 21st century. This kind of thing is not just in the U.S.A.. Everywhere, all around the world. We have to do a lot of things for the black people that we have not done so far.”
Guardiola’s team won 3-0 against Arsenal on Wednesday, its first match since the resumption of Premier League play following the coronavirus shutdown.
Players from all 20 Premier League clubs pushed for their kits to read “Black Lives Matter” in place of their names and had their request granted by the league. In the league’s first two match during its return, players from Aston Villa, Sheffield United, Manchester City and Arsenal all took a knee and a moment of silence at the start of the match in honor of George Floyd.
A member of Guardiola’s own team, Raheem Sterling, also spoke out earlier this month against the lack of coaches and executives of color in the Premier League.
Sterling told ESPN that taking a knee before the club’s first match was an important message:
"I see it as a massive step for the Premier League to allow something like that to happen and it shows we're going in the right direction," he said.
"Little by little we're seeing change. It was natural, it was organic.
"We saw the teams do it in the earlier kick-off and thought it was something we had to do as well."
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