Before training at Cobham this morning, the Chelsea players and coaching staff formed the letter H, for humans, and knelt in a show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
The player-led initiative comes as protests take place around the world following the death of George Floyd in the United States early last week. Captain Cesar Azpilicueta, one of those behind the idea to take a knee and in the letter H, has told us what message the Chelsea players want to get across to accompany their collective action at Cobham today…
‘It is something where we want to use our position to express that we are living in a world where we have to try to improve it for the future, to be a better world with more love, without hate,’ Azpilicueta explained.
‘We have seen recently the result of racism and we see every day that that kind of hate has to be eradicated from society, and we have to play our part.
‘There is every day the possibility to lead by example, to behave, to educate the children into a better world because we know that education is key for the future.
‘We know the young generation is coming behind us and we want to leave them in a better world with more possibilities without any kind of discrimination or racism, so everything matters and it is time to speak up and to face up to the attitudes that we are seeing. There is no place for all of this.
‘Chelsea is a club that leads by example, always on the front foot in tackling racism and all kinds of discrimination,’ added Azpilicueta.
‘We are very proud to be part of Chelsea and to take action when we participate in any campaigns. You want to try to help in the way we can. It is part of our values and we take it very seriously.’
Azpilicueta says the players have been closely following the news in recent days, and the worldwide reaction to events this time is proof of people’s determination across the globe to stand shoulder to shoulder in the face of injustice.
‘We see many incidents of discrimination in every part of the world and it shouldn’t happen. We are all equal and it doesn’t matter our origin, the colour of our skin, our religion, our sexuality, we are all human. To have the same opportunities and respect for each other is the key, next to education, to see all people as other human beings and not to discriminate.
‘It is important to respect each other and to learn from each other. We come from different backgrounds but we can all appreciate each other and get love from each other, and in the end have a better path for the world.’