Canadian Premier League players are keeping the conversation going.
Every CPL player from all eight teams took to the pitch on Thursday afternoon to show solidarity with people of colour, the Black Lives Matter movement, racial equality and a variety of other social justice issues in the wake of the recent shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.
Atlético Ottawa and Cavalry FC were joined by players from the other six CPL clubs for the moment of solidarity before their Island Games match kicked off at UPEI Artificial Turf Field in Charlottetown, PEI. The players from the other six teams stood locked hand-in-hand on the far touchline.
All CPL players wore Black Lives Matter shirts and took a knee during the playing of the Canadian national anthem. That was followed by a moment of silence from every CPL player.
Another moment of silence came at the eighth-minute mark of the match – 8:46 to be exact – when play officially stopped to honour George Floyd, the Minnesota man who was killed in June when a police officer held his neck to the ground for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
The pre-game demonstration was organized by the CPL players, who posted a message of solidarity with the black community – as well as Canadian indigenous, LBGTQ, and Islamic communities – on social media earlier on Thursday.
“We all decided to be here today to take a stand, to show everybody in this world that enough is enough. We’re tired of seeing this,” Valour FC defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste told OneSoccer.
York9 FC’s Kyle Porter added: “We are here to take a stand. Players have come together and we are united. We are one, and we want to make a statement – not only to this league but to the world – that we’re fighting for equality.”