English Premier League is set to pay tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement by replacing players’ names on the back of their shirts with a message from BLM.
The league, which is set to restart with two games on Wednesday June 17, will see the names replaced for the first 12 matches of the season. NBC Sports will air games in the U.S., while some games will be available via Peacock and NBC Sports Gold.
“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,” noted the Premier League in a statement.
A Black Lives Matter badge will also feature on all shirts for the rest of the season alongside a badge thanking NHS staff for their work during COVID-19.
The League will also support players who take a knee before or during matches. A number of clubs have already taken a knee at training ground sessions and shared these images on social media.
This comes after a number of top Premier League players supported the movement, following the death of George Floyd. Manchester City player Raheem Sterling has been one of the most outspoken players on the topic. “I don’t really think about my job when things like this happen. I think about what is right and at this moment in time, you know, there’s only so much people can take,” he told the BBC. “It has been going on for hundreds of years and people are tired. People are ready for change. I keep saying this word. I see a lot of people on social and stuff supporting the cause but this is something that needs more than just talking. We need to actually implement change.”