News Brief
(Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

PADERBORN, GERMANY - MAY 31: Achraf Hakimi Mouh of Borussia Dortmund celebrates scoring his teams fourth goal of the game with a 'Justice for George Floyd' shirt during the Bundesliga match between SC Paderborn 07 and Borussia Dortmund at Benteler Arena on May 31, 2020 in Paderborn, Germany.

'Unity Is Strength': African Football Stars Show Support for #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd

Several international footballers are using their platforms to express support for the fight against racism in the US and beyond.

The recent murder of George Floyd, another unarmed Black man, has sparked great outrage and protest within the streets of the US and cities across the world. With professional sports slowly making their way back onto our screens, many famous faces in football have shown solidarity to those fighting for the cause.

Manchester United Midfielder Paul Pogba expressed his sadness on a recent Instagram post. The player wrote "Sadness for George and for all Black people who suffer from racism every day! Whether in football, at work, at school, anywhere!" This comes after Pogba himself has experienced explicit racism during his professional career. In 2019, he and Man United striker Marcus Rashford fell victim to harsh racial abuse over social media. Using the hashtag "#NoToRacismWeAllOne", the football star's plea brought power and support to the thousands protesting across the world.


Similarly, Moroccan defender Achra Hakimi showed his support during Borussia Dortmund's recent win against Paderborn, with a shirt that had the words "Justice for George Floyd" written across it:

While celebrating his first hat trick in his professional career, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jadon Sancho also took the opportunity to show his support for the fight for freedom in a similar fashion:

During one of their team practices, Liverpool Football Club players, including Egypt's Mo Salah and Senegal's Sadio Mane, took a knee to show support and to emphasize strength in numbers and coming together. Mane, who has been outspoken about the racism faced by Black players, shared the image on Instagram, writing "Unity is strength #BlackLivesMatter."

South African women's football captain Janine Van Wyk echoed the words of Bernice King and asked, "When will people of this world treat others equally regardless of race or gender? #BlackLives Matter #AllLivesMatterWhenBlackLivesMatter"

Nigerian player Anthony Ujah highlighted how common the murders of unarmed Black men seem to be when he simply edited "George Floyd" onto a t-shirt he wore in 2014 to protest the police killing of Eric Garner.

Although the officer in question, Derek Chauvin, was recently arrested and charged, the protests continue to fight for and defend the lives of Black and African American individuals across the world.

Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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