LIVERPOOL strode out for their highly-anticipated first fixture since the Premier League returned with a date in the Merseyside derby at Everton on Sunday. Here, the Reds were only in search of a win to come within three points of a first league title in 30 years.
But before this, the two sides observed the Black Lives Matter (BLM) kneel, as commissioned by league bosses, ahead of every game. But not all were fluent as Liverpool frontman Sadio Mané displayed an eagerness that could put even the most curios cat to shame. He had completely forgotten to take the knee and, instead, darted down the wing to everyone’s surprise.
At the referee’s whistle – which to the forward’s defence would typically under normal circumstances signal the start to the game – Mané ran into the Everton half at Goodison Park but quickly realised that all other players were partaking in the statement and returned to his starting position before taking the knee. The Senegal international’s eagerness to restart Liverpool’s title bid was not missed by fans on social media.
In the aftermath of weeks of protests across the United States (US) following the tragic killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Premier League stars have en masse thrown considerable weight behind the BLM movement. Asides from the now globally-huge taking of the knee, all 20 Premier League clubs have replaced players’ names at the back of the matchday jersey with the Black Lives Matter slogan.
NFL star Colin Kaepernick was the first sportsperson to take a knee – doing so during the American national anthem – to take a stand against racism and inequality in the US in 2016. This stand of defiance has now been adopted by football stars across the globe as sport gradually returns to action. Meanwhile, Liverpool are fearful of losing the striker this summer with the forward yet to sign a new contract in a £150 million deal. The Kop idol is yet to offer any indication that he will sign the new deal that was first offered to him nine months ago.
Do you think Sadio Mane was too eager to get going as his side returned to Premier League action? Post your comment below.