Rabbi Matondo praised Schalke teammate Weston McKennie and other players for their tributes to George Floyd. Julien Laurens encourages players to continue to speak out about "Justice for George Floyd". Jan Aage Fjortoft outlines why the German FA is investigating George Floyd tributes made by Bundesliga players. Jadon Sancho, Weston McKennie and Marcus Thuram express their support for George Floyd. Weston McKennie, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Thuram expressed their support for George Floyd.
Schalke winger Rabbi Matondo has told ESPN that more people should follow his teammate Weston McKennie's lead and support calls for justice for George Floyd.
United States national team star McKennie wore an armband during his side's 1-0 defeat to Werder Bremen on Saturday which read: "Justice for George."
He also used social media to call for others to join him in support for the cause and to "stand up for what we believe in."
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Matondo, 19, has said that he did not know that McKennie would wear the armband prior to the day of the match but praised him for doing so.
"It was Weston's decision," Matondo said. "I spoke to him about it as well, on the matchday. I didn't realise he was doing it. If I knew I'd have got involved with him as well.
"It was his decision and he decided to do it himself and I feel like we need more people, if they believe that, to be strong enough to do what Weston's done. We saw other players do that at the weekend."
Floyd, who was black, died last week in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes. Chauvin, who was fired last Tuesday, was charged last Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
On Sunday, Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram and Borussia Dortmund duo Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi paid tribute to Floyd. Premier League clubs Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle have followed suit this week, posting messages of unity as they collectively took a knee during training sessions.
Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe tweeted out the hashtag #JusticeForGeorge on Saturday. U.S. women's national team stars Crystal Dunn and Alex Morgan voiced their support on Friday, with both players saying they were "sickened" by Floyd's death.
Meanwhile, FIFA urged football competition organisers on Monday to apply "common sense" and consider not sanctioning players demanding justice for George Floyd during matches.
The Football Association in England endorsed FIFA's guidance and in a statement said: "Where any behaviours or gestures on the pitch that may constitute a breach of the laws of the game have to be assessed, they would be reviewed on a case by case basis with a common sense approach and understanding of their context.
"The power of football can break down barriers across communities and we remain deeply committed to removing all forms of discrimination from across the game we all love."
"Right now, it's the perfect time [to send a message]," Matondo said. "I totally respect what the guys have done. Marcus Thuram, Jadon, Weston, Hakimi -- all the other players have got involved. I think it's amazing to show that courage and confidence to go out there and speak about what they believe."
Schalke travel to face Union Berlin on Sunday, and Matondo said he is planning his own tribute.
"I feel strongly and respect the guys that went out and did it last weekend," he said. "I will participate in the best ways I can."
Matondo also said he feels that Floyd's death and the subsequent events in the U.S. have "really opened people's eyes" and hopes footballers will continue to make their own tributes.
"I feel like it doesn't matter what you're doing in sport, or if you're not doing any sport, if you feel like you should speak up in a certain way, yeah, then why not?" he added. "There's too much going on around the world right now, there's obviously destruction, a lot of things.
"So hopefully us footballers and the platform we have, I think it's perfect to speak up and say what you believe in."