-Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic joined the #BlackoutTuesday movement
-Djokovic used a black photo with #BlackLivesMatter caption
-Sports stars across the world have spoken against racism in the wake of George Floyd killing
Tennis greats Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic posted messages on social media to mark ‘Blackout Tuesday’ — a day promoted to mourn and protest the killing of African American man George Floyd in police custody in the United States.
Roger Federer took to social media to post an empty black photo and captioned his post with a heart emoji. Rafael Nadal followed suit while Novak Djokovic posted the photo with hashtags #BlackLivesMater and #BlackoutTuesday.
Teenage US tennis star Coco Gauff replied to Roger Federer’s post with a card sharing information about ‘ways to help’ the cause.
The killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis has led to widespread protests across the US. The Minneapolis policeman who was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Sports stars, from across the globe, have lent their voice to the protest. The likes of West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle, Britain F1 star Lewis Hamilton, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Paris Saint Germain striker Kylian Mbappe are among the many who joined the #BlackoutTuesday movement.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) June 2, 2020
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) June 2, 2020
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) June 2, 2020
The movement was started by music execs Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang, who wrote on a site that Tuesday, June 2 would be a day to pause all business and take a stand against the “racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard.”
The movement would take the form of people posting all black pictures to Instagram and other social media platforms.
US Open champion and tennis star Naomi Osaka has been among the most vocal athletes when it comes to the protests against the killing of George Floyd. Osaka criticised people for tweeting more about lootings during the protests than his death.
“I see people been ghost on twitter for a week when the events first started unfolding, but as soon as the looting started they sure are quick to give us hourly updates on how they’re feeling once again,” Osaka wrote.
Meanwhile, cricketer Daren Sammy urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) and other cricket boards and cricketers to speak out against racism a day after Chris Gayle said racism exists in cricket as well.
In a series of social media posts, Sammy, who led the West Indies to T20 World Cup glory in 2016, said if the cricket world is not voicing against injustice to ‘people of colour’, then it is also part of the problem.
“For too long black people have suffered. I’m all the way in St Lucia and I’m frustrated If you see me as a teammate then you see #GeorgeFloyd Can you be part of the change by showing your support. #BlackLivesMatter,” Sammy wrote on Twitter.
“@ICC and all the other boards are you guys not seeing what’s happening to ppl like me? Are you not gonna speak against the social injustice against my kind. This is not only about America. This happens everyday #BlackLivesMatter now is not the time to be silent. I wanna hear u (sic).”