The Wales international was full of praise for his co-star after he wrote ‘Justice for George Floyd’ on his captain’s armband for a Bundesliga game

Schalke winger Rabbi Matondo has praised team-mate Weston McKennie for the courage he showed in paying tribute to George Floyd during his side’s Bundesliga match against Werder Bremen.

The United States international had written “Justice for George Floyd” on his captain’s armband in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat and his call to action was followed by Borussia Dortmund stars Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi, who revealed t-shirts paying tribute, and Borussia Monchengladbach attacker Marcus Thuram, who celebrated his goal against Union Berlin by taking a knee.

McKennie said he would continue to speak out against racism and call for justice after 46-year-old Floyd was killed when Minneapolice police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes, while fellow officers Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng helped hold him down and Thomas K. Lane prevented onlookers from interfering.

Matondo has been inspired by McKennie’s statement and said now is the perfect time for other football stars to follow his example.

“It was Weston’s decision,” Matondo told  ESPN . “I spoke to him about it as well, on the matchday. I didn’t realise he was doing it. If I knew I’d have got involved with him as well.

“It was his decision and he decided to do it himself and I feel like we need more people, if they believe that, to be strong enough to do what Weston’s done. We saw other players do that at the weekend.

“Right now, it’s the perfect time [to send a message]. I totally respect what the guys have done. Marcus Thuram, Jadon, Weston, Hakimi – all the other players have got involved. I think it’s amazing to show that courage and confidence to go out there and speak about what they believe.

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“I feel strongly and respect the guys that went out and did it last weekend. I will participate in the best ways I can.”

He added: “I feel like it doesn’t matter what you’re doing in sport, or if you’re not doing any sport, if you feel like you should speak up in a certain way, yeah, then why not?

“There’s too much going on around the world right now, there’s obviously destruction, a lot of things. So hopefully us footballers and the platform we have, I think it’s perfect to speak up and say what you believe in.”



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