Marcus Rashford leads Premier League in show of solidarity with Black Lives Matter

19 June 2020, 22:10

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League. Picture: Getty

By Kate Buck

Marcus Rashford has lead the tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement during tonight's Premier League game, fresh off his victory in extending free school meals for disadvantaged children.

The 22-year-old Manchester United player took to the pitch for the first time since the Premier League took a break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

His team took on Tottenham Hotspur on their home turf this evening, but all the players first took to their knee inside the stadium.

Rashford was seen in the centre of the pitch clenching his fist and raising it above him, as other players did the same.

Football has been supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd in the US.

Each player's shirt has also had their names replaced with "Black Lives Matter", in a gesture which every club will keep in place for each game of the rest of the season.

Read more: Prime Minister makes u-turn on school meals after Rashford campaign

All the players have also replaced their names of their shirts with Black Lives Matter
All the players have also replaced their names of their shirts with Black Lives Matter. Picture: Getty
Tottenham Hotspur went against Manchester United as the Premier League returns
Tottenham Hotspur went against Manchester United as the Premier League returns. Picture: Getty

During the warm up, Rashford and his team mates also had matching black shirts with "United against racism"written on the front.

This evening's match comes at the end of a busy week for Rashford, after his campaign to keep free school meals for disadvantaged children forced to government into an embarrassing u-turn on Tuesday.

The Government had initially resisted calls to extend the scheme, but following huge pressure, reversed their decision.

Boris Johnson said the scheme would be extended in the form of a one-off voucher from the Covid Summer Food Fund.

The Prime Minister added: "We set out a voucher scheme for the first couple of holidays. Clearly free school meals should generally apply in term time, that's what they are there for.

"But we have to understand the pressures families are under right now and that's why we've responded as we have.

"As I say, I think it is the right thing to do and it will help the kids from the families who really need it."

Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (L) 'takes a knee' in support of the Black Lives Matter movement
Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (L) 'takes a knee' in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Picture: Getty

The fund will go to 1.3 million children in the UK, and provides £15 worth of vouchers a week for each eligible child, which can be redeemed in a range of supermarkets.

The scheme will not continue beyond this summer, Downing Street said.

Following the news, the Manchester United and England star said he was “proud” that the voices of “vulnerable parents” all over the country had been listened to.

In a statement on social media, the 22-year-old said: “There is still a long way to go but I am thankful to you all that we have given these families just one less thing to worry about tonight.”

Footballers, politicians, charity and education leaders have praised the striker’s successful campaign.

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