Last week, a police office in Minneapolis, Minnesota knelt on the neck of George Floyd, a restrained, immobile suspect, for nine minutes. Last week, a police office in Minneapolis, Minnesota knelt on the neck of George Floyd, a restrained and immobile suspect, until he was dead.
Death, without trial, based on nothing but a report the victim may have attempted to pass a low-denomination counterfeit bill. Since then, massive protests have taken place across the United States, a reflection of justified anger towards and distrust of law enforcement and governmental institutions.
In its particulars, this is a uniquely American story. In what those particulars represent, from institutionalized racism to the militarization of police forces to the carceral state to access to health and education to trust in those tasked with leading our societies, it is a global story.
The American story may be unique, yet all of its elements are repeated endlessly, a little bit differently and through the lens of local history and culture, around the world. And so today, Liverpool’s players—a club in the northwest of England with players from around the world—took an unprecedented step.
They gathered, at the request of the players, at the centre of the Anfield pitch and took a knee.
Then, collectively, they took to social media, releasing the image along with the black lives matter hashtag. A global response to what is both an American story and global issues, and one that we hope will help to push awareness of those issues to a broader audience.