The Premier League has announced that players’ names will be replaced on the backs of their shirts with ‘Black Lives Matter’ for the first 12 matches after the suspension to the season while a logo for the movement will be present on every shirt until the end of the season.
There have been protests around the UK targeted at social inequality in recent weeks, mirroring those that erupted in the U.S. following the death of George Floyd.
England international Jadon Sancho offered his support to the cause while playing for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, but the Premier League has announced that there will be a concerted effort made from its clubs and players to stamp out racism.
In a statement on the League’s official website , it said: “Premier League players from all 20 clubs have made the following statement:
“’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. This symbol is a sign of unity from all Players, all Staff, all Clubs, all Match Officials and the Premier League #blacklivesmatter #playerstogether.’
“The Premier League stands alongside players, clubs, The FA, EFL, PFA, LMA, PGMOL and all those who oppose discrimination in any form.
“The League supports the players’ wish to have their names replaced by Black Lives Matter on the back of their shirts for the first 12 matches of the restarted 2019/20 season.
“A Black Lives Matter logo will also feature on shirts for the remainder of the season, along with a badge thanking the NHS for their work during the COVID-19 crisis.
“In addition, the League will support players who "take a knee" before or during matches.
“The Premier League believes there is no room for racism, anywhere #NoRoomForRacism.”
Following a three-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic, professional football is set to return to England with Aston Villa’s clash with Sheffield United next Wednesday, which will be followed by Manchester City’s encounter against Arsenal later that night.
Liverpool stand on the cusp of winning the title for the first time in the Premier League era, with Jurgen Klopp’s men only needing six points to get over the line.