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Newcastle United take a knee in Instagram photo

Football players are speaking up about injustice, and Newcastle just did, too.

Sport Coronavirus - Saturday 14th March Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Newcastle United in a photo posted to Instagram early this morning took a knee in remembrance for Black Lives and for George Floyd. Today, in protest of police brutality Instagram users are using the hashtag #blackouttuesday to bring awareness the inequalities that black Americans face in their everyday lives.

I’m going to drop the site manager act and hold nothing back here.

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A post shared by Newcastle United FC (@nufc) on

To those on the Instagram post saying that Newcastle United is “virtue signaling” and that they should “stick to football”, you are part of the problem. You’d rather enjoy your sports, and your teams, without facing head on the problems that face this world. YOU are part of the problem. DeAndre Yedlin, a black American from Seattle, Wash., recently shared on Twitter a message that his grandfather had sent him just days after George Floyd’s death.

If this makes you uncomfortable, it should. It isn’t virtue signaling, it’s being an ally where you can. And football clubs around the world have a responsibility to speak out about injustice, and to use their platform to raise awareness to issues that affect the public interest.

I got disgusted at some of the comments I read on both Yedlin’s feed and Newcastle’s. I’ve been outraged for the past week at what I’ve seen on my social media feeds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

We have a responsibility to use the platforms we possess to raise awareness to issues that affect the public interest. It is in our interest to stand with our communities as they hurt at this particularly momentous time in history. It is in our interest to love and respect all people.

We love Newcastle United, we’re awaiting takeover news, we’re eager for football to restart. But right now, shut up, listen, and take a knee. The other stuff can wait.