ARSENAL legend Thierry Henry has spoken out about racism following the shocking death of George Floyd.
Floyd was arrested by four officers, one of whom, Derek Chauvin, was caught on video holding his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Floyd repeatedly told the officers he couldn’t breathe before he died.
Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
Now Henry, who played for Arsenal between 1999 and 2007 as well as a short spell in the US with New York Red Bulls, has expressed his disbelief that “this still happening in 2020”.
Wearing a Public Enemy hoodie, Henry added a length caption to the photo on Instagram.
The American hip-hop group were famous for writing politically-charged songs and are critical of the way African-Americans are treated in society.
Some of their biggest hits include Fight The Power and 911 is a Joke.
Henry, who now manages Montreal Impact, wrote: “I have been collecting my thoughts for the past few days in order to eloquently describe my feelings on the tragic and unnecessary death of George Floyd.
“It would have been far too easy to write with emotion, hatred and vitriolic sentiment in the immediate aftermath.
“Although those feelings are still present, I will give it a try.”
Why do the same racists applaud any ethnic minority who plays for the team they support but abuse the same minorities on the street?
He then posed a number of questions that clearly anger and affect him.
The 42-year-old continued: “Why is this still happening in 2020?
“Why do the same racists applaud any ethnic minority who plays for the team they support but abuse the same minorities on the street?
“Why are all the methods we are using to eradicate this from our society not working?
“It’s gone on for too long and we have come too far for this to be tolerated in modern society.”
US STATES IN UPROAR
Along with many peaceful protests across the US there have been violence from both police officer and the crowds, as well as looting of shops and homes.
Henry is adamant that this is NOT the way to respect Floyd’s memory.
He added: “I do not advocate violence, looting or destruction of property, as this will not solve any problems and many racially afflicted individuals are victims themselves of this behaviour.
“Why should the people be punished who have the same struggles, turmoil and racial abuse?
“The people who have worked their entire lives to feed their families and then have the fruits of the labour destroyed in protests against the issues they are suffering themselves? This is not the answer.”
The Frenchman then called for action to be taken to arrest what he sees as a major problem in society.
He ends the posting with: “However, we do urgently NEED change, we DEMAND change and most importantly, we DESERVE change.
“Make it happen, NOW. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.”
SPORTS STARS SPEAK OUT
Henry, of course, isn’t the only sports star to voice their concerns and pay tribute to Floyd.
Manchester United target Jadon Sancho displayed a handwritten message after bagging his opening goal in the 57th minute of a 6-1 Bundesliga mauling of Paderborn.
Sancho‘s shirt read: “Justice for George Floyd.”
But SunSport has reported that Premier League aces have been given the green light to take a knee in support of race equality by the FA.
The growing movement behind Black Lives Matter has seen players and clubs alike make public gestures showing their solidarity.
Writing messages underneath shirts are technically still against the laws of the game and can be punished by a match official or the FA.
But the governing body have effectively suggested they will turn a blind eye to players in England making similar statements following the death of Floyd at the hands of police in America
Six-time Formula One world champ Lewis Hamilton has criticised his Formula 1 colleagues for “staying silent” over the killing of George Floyd and wider protests over racial injustice.
Millions of people have taken to social media to support those protesting, including Hamilton who felt he was “alone” in F1 for doing so.