MLS is Back tournament opens with players taking knee, Black Power salutes

MLS is Back tournament opens with players taking knee, Black Power salutes

On a silent makeshift pitch at the Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida, MLS and a number of it players made a lengthy statement Wednesday night about where they stand on racial injustice in the U.S.

Players from Orlando City SC and Inter Miami CF took at knee along the midfield circle, while all around them the MLS group Black Players for Change raised gloved fists in a Black Power salute reminiscent of Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ gesture in the 1968 Summer Olympics, wore T-shirts with phrases such as “Black and Proud,” “Black All the Time” and “Silence is Violence,” and were covered in “Black Lives Matter” facemasks.

MORE: MLS is Back schedule, TV channels

A video board along one sideline displayed the hashtag #MLSisBlack, a tweak of MLS is Back, the name of the in-season tournament to mark the league’s return from its COVID-19 pause.

The entire demonstration lasted eight minutes, 46 seconds — the listed time former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on the late George Floyd — as ESPN cameras recorded the scene.

Orlando and Miami players and a game official take a knee.

The Orlando and Miami players again took a knee just before the opening kickoff.

MLS is following in the footsteps of the English Premier League and German Bundesliga, where players have taken a knee just prior to kickoff.

Published at Thu, 09 Jul 2020 00:59:10 +0000

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