LONDON (AP) — English Premier League jerseys will feature “Black Lives Matter” instead of player names for the first 12 games after the competition resumes on Wednesday.
The campaign logo will remain on jerseys thorough the July 26 end of the pandemic-delayed season.
Players have been keen to use games to join growing calls to eradicate racial injustice in society following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.
“We, the players, stand together with the singular objective of eradicating racial prejudice wherever it exists, to bring about a global society of inclusion, respect, and equal opportunities for all, regardless of their colour or creed,” the squads said in a joint statement on Friday.
“This symbol is a sign of unity from all players, all staff, all clubs, all match officials and the Premier League #blacklivesmatter #playerstogether.”
Players from several teams have been pictured this week in training taking a knee as part of anti-racism gestures sparked by Floyd, who died after a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck as he pleaded for air.
The laws of the game prohibit “any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images” on matchday equipment. But the English Football Association has said common sense would be applied when assessing the context of on-field messages. That followed a new stance FIFA adopted after players in the German league had “Justice for George Floyd” messages on — or under — their jerseys.
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