EPL

It's like racist people haven't got brains - Gabriel Jesus backs Black Lives Matter movement

By Sports Desk June 05, 2020

Gabriel Jesus believes growing support for the Black Lives Matter movement comes from people being "exhausted" from suffering injustice and racism

The Brazil and Manchester City footballer has added his voice to those calling for change amid the protests that have swept the United States and beyond in the aftermath of George Floyd's death.

Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25 after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Derek Chauvin was dismissed and charged with second-degree murder, while the three other officers on the scene have also been sacked and charged with aiding and abetting a murder.

Numerous figures from the world of sport have spoken up with demands for change and Jesus knows personally that the ravages of racism run deep.

"Racism isn't a problem that only started in recent days and it isn't normal, so people do feel that they have had enough, and they have exploded," he said, before taking aim at what appears to be a wilful misinterpretation of the Black Lives Matter cause in some quarters.

"I'm against violence or any sort of violent protest. I'm all in favour of peaceful protests in order to say 'no to racism' and whenever we say 'Black Lives Matter', we should also read it correctly and understand the meaning behind it.

"We aren't saying that other lives don't matter, but we are saying that the lives of black people who feel racism matter.

"We can’t generalise it. Not everyone is racist, the majority aren't, but lots of people are and it's like they haven't got brains.

"So, when we use that sentence it's because we know what it is to be a victim of racism. It is painful to feel it."

Jesus explained he was once racially abused when playing for Brazilian club Palmeiras during a Copa Libertadores tie in Uruguay – the kind of ordeal the two-time Premier League champion and Copa America winner is wearied to still see occurring frequently.

"I have suffered a couple of times. I've managed to elevate myself [above it]," he said.

"I'm black and I'm from a favela. I was able to learn from those experiences, but everyone reacts and feels differently and I've got my way.

"This is a very important movement, because like I said, there is a time that people do wake up and these actions [police brutality] that we've seen lately aren't normal and they shouldn't happen.

"Therefore there is a moment that we have to say 'enough, time to stop' and it is important to show your position on this matter and this sentence [Black Lives Matter] is very clear on how tired people have been exhausted for a while, tired of injustice.

"Social media is very important these days, but the problem is that sometimes we don’t respect each other’s opinions or views and that can create a bigger problem or hate.

"I know it is difficult to speak about peace, but if we were to follow our lives based on peace, it would be a lot better."

Jesus and his City colleague will be back in action on June 17 when they host Arsenal upon the Premier League's resumption from its coronavirus shutdown.

Despite the lay-off, the 23-year-old confirmed there has been no let up for the squad when it comes to manager Pep Guardiola's famous intensity.

"The concept is always the same," he added, with City poised to lose their Premier League crown to Liverpool but retaining designs on adding the FA Cup and Champions League to a third consecutive EFL Cup they won in March.

"There are one or two things that have changed, but I will not be revealing them here!

"Pep is creative and intense, so he always has ways to make sure that the players’ fusion always works.

"It is a tough moment in the Premier League but we still have two more trophies to fight for."

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