Toronto FC continued their support for the Black Lives Matter movement before their match against the Montreal Impact on Friday night, kneeling before kickoff and wearing t-shirts with the message front and centre.
Over the last few days, players from sports leagues across North America, including MLS, postponed games as a protest following the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Seven shots were fired at Blake, four of which hit him, on August 23rd, and today’s demonstration is a continuation of the momentum that athletes have been trying to build worldwide.
Many players have been outspoken about the movement, and left back Justin Morrow is the Executive Director of a group of MLS players called the Black Players for Change, formed earlier this season. The group is pushing for equality and social justice, and has used its platform thus far to really push their message.
At the MLS Is Back tournament in July, players, referees and staff took a knee before every match in an act of solidarity, something that has continued after the tournament, and that clubs around the world are also doing.
Ahead of the opening match of the MLS is Back tournament, representatives from every MLS club took part in a league-wide demonstration that lasted eight minutes and 46 seconds–the length of time Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the neck of George Floyd, killing him in May.
In a bit of an odd manner—wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts—TFC captain Michael Bradley and head Coach Greg Vanney stood for the Canadian national anthem while the rest of the Reds and Montreal knelt.
Tous un genou au sol, sauf Bradley. On respecte toutes les façons de procéder. pic.twitter.com/N1dksMq8IL— jeremy Filosa (@JeremyFilosa) August 29, 2020
Both have been strong advocates towards fighting against racial inequality, and we obviously know where they stand on the manner, so it was interesting to say the least.