AAP Soccer

Ricciardo joins call for action on racism

By AAP Newswire

Australia's Formula One ace Daniel Riccardo has joined Michael Jordan and other sporting stars in demanding change after the death of George Floyd.

Ricciardo says what happened to Floyd "and what continues to happen in today's society is a disgrace".

"Now more than ever we need to stand together, unified together," Ricciardo wrote on Instagram.

"Racism is toxic and needs to be addressed not with violence or silence but with unity and action ... It's 2020 ffs. Black lives matter."

AFL player Chad Wingard has been prominent on Twitter with a series of posts in response to the death of Floyd which has sparked widespread violent protests in the US.

"Lets (sic) have a look at our own back yard," one Wingard post read.

"We need to voice and act accordingly here. Racism is a world wide disease! Dont (sic) be silent speak up and dont be afraid of being uncomfortable."

Basketball icon Jordan, who was notably silent on racial politics during his legendary NBA career, said in a statement "we were deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry" as he called for peaceful protests.

"I see and feel everyone's pain, outrage and frustration," Jordan said.

"I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of colour in our country.

"We have had enough. I don't have the answers but our collective voices show strength and the inability to be divided by others."

NBA stars Tobias Harris of Philadelphia 76ers, Malcolm Brogdon of Indiana Pacer and Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown also took part in protests over the weekend.

LeBron James was among the NBA stars to speak out in recent days on social media while other American sports people, including former NRL quarterback Colin Kaepernick - who was dumped from the league in 2016 for protesting against racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem before games - did likewise.

Tennis player Serena Williams tweeted Nike's powerful 'Don't Do It' video along with the message: "Don't pretend there's not a problem in America".

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton posted #BlackLivesMatter to his 5.7 million Twitter follows, which featured a video of a young black American girl in tears about inherent racism in society.

He also criticised the "white dominated sport" of motor racing for its silence on the issue.

In Germany, four young soccer Bundesliga players made their feelings known.

England's 20-year-old winger Jadon Sancho, 21-year-old Morocco right-back Achraf Hakimi and 22-year-old Marcus Thuram made statements on the field on Sunday, following the example set by Schalke's American midfielder Weston McKennie, 21, a day earlier.

Borussia Dortmund's Sancho removed his jersey after a goal to reveal a t-shirt with the handwritten message "Justice for George Floyd".

His teammate Hakimi followed his example when he scored to reveal the same message.

Thuram took a knee, evoking memories of Kaepernick's protests, after scoring for Borussia Moenchengladbach.

McKennie wore an armband with the handwritten message "Justice for George".