Barclays WSL branding on the Mitre Delta MAX match day ball Birmingham City Women v Everton Ladies, WSL football match, The Autotech Stadium, Birmingham, UK - 08 Sep 2019 Photo: Paul Greenwood for The FA

FAWSL stars lead response of British sportswomen to Black Lives Matter

On the 25  May 2020, George Perry Floyd Jr. was killed by police in Minneapolis, America.

His last words of ‘I can’t breathe’ have inspired worldwide protests about the treatment of black people by police and brought greater prominence to the Black Lives Matter movement.

While Black Lives Matter was created in 2013, this is the pivotal moment in the movement’s history because of the affect
it has had on countries throughout the world. This has led numerous celebrities and sports stars to comment on the events.

Most prominently in the United Kingdom, Newcastle United and USA men’s national team player DeAndre Yedlin spoke out about his grandfather’s thankfulness that his grandson now lives in England, because he would be worried about him living in the United States. However, there is still racism in the United Kingdom, racism is just hidden and ignored in comparison to the United States, and that British athletes have been highlighting.

Here are the reactions of some of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League players and coaches to the events over the recent weeks:

Arsenal forward Danielle Carter recently tweeted ‘Enough is enough!’ in response to the murder of George Floyd, later going on to state that the problem was with people being ‘unaware of an unconscious bias’ towards black people.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes commented that the events have demonstrated the importance of ‘tolerance, acceptance and to be educated about how people are experiencing their lives’ in an interview with Sky Sports News after it was announced that The Blues would be crowned Barclays FA Women’s Super League winners for the season.

Continuing on from the views of her coach, Chelsea star Bethany England tweeted ‘Together we can make a change #blacklivesmatter’ and shared petitions and images about the event.

Manchester United captain Katie Zelem also shared petitions for justice for George Floyd and commented on the Manchester protests in solidarity with his murder.

Bristol City player Ebony Salmon tweeted ‘Black Lives Matter’, while also sharing various articles linked to the movement including the image of Borussia Dortmund players Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi’s ‘Justice for George Floyd’ goal celebrations.

Former Arsenal captain, broadcaster and Lionesses legend, Alex Scott was vocal about racism sharing speeches from singer Rihanna and Killer Mike from Run the Jewels about racism and the treatment of black people.

Liverpool player Rinsola Babajide tweeted that the events were ‘So heartbreaking to see’ and commented her disbelief that police brutality is still prominent.

Leah Williamson shared tweets in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the criticism of the police, including the importance monologue by BBC Radio 1 presenter Clara Amfo.

The Lionesses twitter account tweeted that ‘The FA stands with you’ in regard to the black community while the official Barclays FA Women’s Super League twitter account issued the same statement with all FA branches making the same point of solidarity.

Overall, most high-profile Barclays FA Women’s Super League players and coaches commented on the events, showing the importance of the event and demonstrating the ways that players interact with world events via social media. In total, nine out of the 12 Barclays FA Women’s Super League clubs also showed their support for Black Lives Matter across their social media platforms.

By Hannah Burt

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