DC United players PAINT huge 'I can't breathe' message in red on pitch

DC United join Black Lives Matter protests as players PAINT huge ‘I can’t breathe’ message in red on their Audi Field pitch less than five miles from the White House in Washington

  • DC United have joined Black Lives Matter protests five miles from White House
  • At their stadium, players painted a huge ‘I can’t breathe’ message in red paint 
  • Staff and players then took a knee in front of their huge message on the pitch
  • Huge numbers of protestors have taken to streets after death of George Floyd

DC United have joined the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death by painting a huge ‘I can’t breathe’ message on the pitch of their Audi Field home.

The team are based less than five miles from the White House in Washington, and the city has seen huge crowds of protestors over the last week following the death of Mr Floyd, a black man who was killed when white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes in Minneapolis. 

Protests have taken place around the world, including in cities across the United Kingdom, and now MLS outfit DC United have added their voice to the millions.

DC United players take a knee in front of huge ‘I can’t breathe’ message painted on their pitch

The club’s staff and players came together to paint the slogan in red on their Audi Field pitch

The players took to the pitch for a very different reason at Audi Field on Monday, painting ‘I can’t breathe’ and BLM [Black Lives Matter] onto the pitch in red paint, before taking a knee and posing for a photo as a team.

In a statement, the club also said: ‘We’re deeply upset and vehemently condemn the actions that led to the death of George Floyd,’ 

Coach Ben Olsen also told the Washington Post that he is ‘completely supportive of the outrage that is going on.’

The club’s Audi Field stadium is less than five miles from the White House in Washington DC

The city has seen thousands of protestors take to the streets following George Floyd’s death

‘I am doing a lot of soul-searching,’ said Olsen, who is white. ‘My eyes are a little more open to the struggles that [members of the black community] have in this country. I’m sad. I’m angry.’

DC United’s display of solidarity comes just two days after the mayor of the city Muriel Bowser renamed a street near the White House in honour of Black Lives Matter.

‘Black Lives Matter’ was also painted in huge capital letters on the street, with the words stretching across several blocks where they can even be seen from space.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser commissioned a ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural down 16th Street too

Planet Labs shared a stellar photo on Twitter of the mural that spans two blocks of 16th Street

Across the city, peaceful protestors have been sprayed with tear gas by police and President Trump has brought in a 7pm curfew to quell the demonstrations.    

It has been reported that more than 4,500 National Guard troops have been deployed to Washington in response to the protests.

In London, demonstrations have also turned violent, while anti-racism campaigners in Bristol toppled a memorial to 17th century slave trader Edward Colston before tossing it into the city’s harbour on Friday.

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