Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said he is “ashamed” of white people’s historic treatment of black people as he spoke out about the Black Lives Matter movement.
On Wednesday, Aston Villa hosted Sheffield United before Arsenal travelled to Man City in the first two top-flight fixtures in England in three months.
And immediately following the opening whistles of both matches, every player knelt in honour of George Floyd, an unarmed black American who died at the hands of a white policeman in Minnesota last month.
Guardiola called for more to be done in the fight for equality. He said: “White people should say sorry for the way we have treated black people for 400 years. I am ashamed.
“We should send a thousand million messages for the black people.
“I’m embarrassed and ashamed of what the white people have done for the black people.
“How people can think they are different? All the gestures are good and positive. Everything we can do to make it conscious, it is not acceptable.
“We have to do a lot of things for the black people which we have not done so far.”
Players involved in both games also sported shirts with ‘Black Lives Matter’ written in place of their names.
City forward Raheem Sterling said he welcomed the pre-match show of support for Black Lives Matter.
‘I see it as a massive step for the Premier League to allow something like that to happen and it shows we’re going in the right direction, he said.
‘Little by little we’re seeing change. It was natural, it was organic. We saw the teams do it in the earlier kick-off and thought it was something we had to do as well.’