Germany won’t punish players for George Floyd protests

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY (AP) — As more players spoke out against racial discrimination and injustice, the German soccer federation said it will not punish those who protest against the killing of George Floyd.

The Bundesliga has seen several players feature messages on their clothing and make gestures since Floyd died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee for several minutes on his neck.

The players’ campaign grew online on Wednesday with Schalke and United States (US) midfielder Weston McKennie publishing a video which mixed footage of police officers using force against black people with clips of leading soccer players and other athletes saying, “Enough is enough.”

Chelsea and US midfielder Christian Pulisic took part in the video, as did Bayern Munich and Canada left back Alphonso Davies and Women’s World Cup winner Mallory Pugh of the US.

The German soccer federation, known as the DFB, said on Wednesday it opposed punishing any players for on-field protests related to Floyd’s death because it believes their anti-racism messages match the federation’s own principles.

“The DFB has made a strong stand against any form of racism, discrimination or violence and stands for tolerance, openness and diversity, values which are also anchored in the DFB’s statutes,” federation President Fritz Keller said in a statement.

“Therefore the players’ actions have our respect and our understanding.”