MAVERICK MARIO BALOTELLI IN BLACK POWER SALUTE FOR GEORGE FLOYD

Mario Baloteli performed the Black Power pose as he supported the Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd.

Activists have been calling for ‘justice’ over the death of Mr Floyd, who had a knee pressed into his neck for more than eight minutes while being detained by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, and eventually died in Minneapolis last Monday.

George Floyd’s death last Monday has sparked widespread calls for justice across the US

Protests in America have seen violent clashes with police, with dozens of American cities being set ablaze, with Mr Floyd’s death becoming a symbol for systemic police brutality against African-Americans.

And Brescia forward Balotelli joined the likes of Manchester United stars Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford in making a stand against racism.

Mario Balotelli performed Black Power pose as he supported the Black Lives Matter protests

Alongside the Black Power pose, Balotelli wrote on his Instagram page: ‘#saynotoracism #blackpower #restinpeacebrother #GEORGEFLOYD.’ 

The 29-year-old also uploaded a post onto his Instagram story which read: ‘I have nothing against monkeys because I’m totally sure a monkey is smarter than a racist.’

Lazio were fined £17,000 as punishment for fans targeting striker Balotelli with racist chants back in January.

The game was halted for a few minutes shortly after the half-hour mark and an announcement to stop the chants was made to fans at the stadium in Brescia.

Brescia were leading 1-0 at the time following a goal scored by Balotelli, who had also been subjected to racial abuse earlier in the match.

Balotelli posted a video of his goal on Instagram after the match and wrote: ‘Lazio fans that were today at the stadium SHAME ON YOU!’

Balotelli was also the target of racial abuse earlier this season when he threatened to leave the field because of racist chants directed at him by Hellas Verona fans during a match in November.

United midfielder Pogba expressed his sadness at Mr Floyd’s death as he shared a message with his 41million followers to show his support for the Black Lives Matter movement earlier on Monday. 

Rashford also spoke out following the tragic death of Mr Floyd, insisting ‘people are hurting and need answers’ while the Liverpool squad made a powerful gesture in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement during their training session at Anfield. 

In Germany, Borussia Dortmund and England winger Jadon Sancho revealed a ‘Justice for George Floyd’ shirt while celebrating his first goal against Paderborn on Sunday.

The likes of Weston McKennie and Marcus Thuram also showed their support for Mr Floyd following his death, with the former wearing a ‘Justice for George’ armband playing for Schalke while the latter took a knee after scoring for Borussia Monchengladbach.

-Daily Mail