Heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua delivered a passionate speech as he showed his support for the “Black Lives Matter” movement by joining a protest match in his hometown of Watford.
According to Daily Mail, Joshua, wearing a black hoodie with the movement’s name on the front, the WBA, WBO and IBF world champion joined hundreds of others on the peaceful protest on Saturday afternoon.
At one stage, Joshua addressed those gathered over a microphone.
He addressed the crowd in his hometown surrounded by his entourage.
‘We can no longer from today onward be proud, we can no longer remain silent on the senseless unlawful killing, sly racism of another human being based only on what? Their skin colour,’ he exclaimed.
‘We need to speak out in peaceful demonstrations just like today. So well done Watford, inject the vaccine.
‘We must not use the demonstration for selfish motives and turn it into rioting and looting. We need to be united in non-violent demonstrations. Show them where it hurts, abstain from spending your money in their shops and economies, and invest in black-owned businesses.
‘And that’s for all communities if you want to uplift yourselves, invest in your own businesses. We have to engage with the youth – I completely agree with that – and put an end to black youth gang culture.
‘I’m gunna be real with you about gang culture. I’m down to riot 100 per cent but what you have to realise – it’s done. It is done, trust me.
‘Unless you wanna be sitting in jail, spending years upon years of your only life that you have thinking about ‘yeah, they can lock the locks but they can’t stop the clocks’. That’s all done because there’s too much cameras, too much intelligence.
‘All the OGs that I know are telling me ‘bro it’s finished, it’s finished’. Gang life is finished and that’s what we’re saying.
‘I know that I’m not promoting no gangster business. I’m a legit, straight forward hustler – that’s just in my DNA and in my blood.
Joshua went on to explain that the death of George Floyd, an American man killed by Minneapolis police officers, was the catalyst for the protests.
‘But I know I’ve taken my street knowledge and put it into the corporate world and I’ve gained a lot of respect in that sense. So anyway, gang culture is done.
‘So, where was I. We have to engage with the youth and put an end to black youth gang culture. This postcode war – how many houses do we own on that postcode that we’re fighting for?
‘Let’s inject the vaccine. Every life matters – 100 per cent I agree with that. But that does include black lives and that’s why we’re here today.
‘George Floyd – we’re all aware of his name – was the catalyst in a list that is already way, way, way too long.’
Joshua is the latest high profile sports star to back the BLM movement following the death of African American George Floyd, who was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, United States.
Police officer Derek Chauvin has since been charged with second degree murder after a video emerged showing him kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while he laid on the floor in handcuffs.
His death has sparked a series of sometimes violent protests across the United States and demonstrations around the world.
The Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said: ‘I was horrified to see the shocking murder of George Floyd and I know that this, and events like it, have caused pain to so many people.
‘It’s important we always stand up and challenge every form of discrimination, racism and injustice.
Basketball icon Michael Jordan, Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and England footballer Jadon Sancho are among a host of sporting stars who have spoken out after Floyd’s death.