Before training today, Chelsea players and coaches took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, doing so in the shape of a letter H, for “human”. The latter part is a bit hokey, but let us not have that distract us from the message of unity, support, and equality.
Taking a knee has become a universal act raising awareness of racial inequality and police brutality, not just in the USA but around the world. It is especially meaningful in this moment, after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police last week and the subsequent worldwide protests ever since.
Before training at Cobham this morning, the Chelsea players and coaching staff formed the letter H, for humans, and knelt in a show of support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement. pic.twitter.com/yI6kAywa93— Chelsea FC (at ) (@ChelseaFC) June 2, 2020
The photo, alongside the message “Enough is enough. We are all HUMANS. Together we are stronger. #BlackLivesMatter“ was posted on every player’s Twitter account as well, further underlining the idea that we’re all in this fight together and it needs all of our support to effect meaningful change.
As per the official Chelsea website, the idea came from the players, including captain César Azpilicueta, who explains that the main goal behind it was lead by example and to educate.
“It is something where we want to use our position to express that we are living in a world where we have to try to improve it for the future, to be a better world with more love, without hate.
“We have seen recently the result of racism and we see every day that that kind of hate has to be eradicated from society, and we have to play our part. There is every day the possibility to lead by example, to behave, to educate the children into a better world because we know that education is key for the future.
“We know the young generation is coming behind us and we want to leave them in a better world with more possibilities without any kind of discrimination or racism, so everything matters and it is time to speak up and to face up to the attitudes that we are seeing. There is no place for all of this.”
Education has been a key component of Chelsea’s fight against racism and discrimination, including club-sponsored trips to Auschwitz and Birkenau as part of the club’s Say No To Antisemitism campaign, not to mention a large mural on the front facade of Stamford Bridge this season.
“Chelsea is a club that leads by example, always on the front foot in tackling racism and all kinds of discrimination. We are very proud to be part of Chelsea and to take action when we participate in any campaigns. You want to try to help in the way we can. It is part of our values and we take it very seriously.”
“We see many incidents of discrimination in every part of the world and it shouldn’t happen. We are all equal and it doesn’t matter our origin, the colour of our skin, our religion, our sexuality, we are all human. To have the same opportunities and respect for each other is the key, next to education, to see all people as other human beings and not to discriminate.
“It is important to respect each other and to learn from each other. We come from different backgrounds but we can all appreciate each other and get love from each other, and in the end have a better path for the world.”
-César Azpilicueta; source: Chelsea FC
The fight goes on.
Be the change you want to see in the world.