England winger Jadon Sancho scored a hat-trick and revealed a "Justice for George Floyd" protest message in Borussia Dortmund's 6-1 rout of bottom side Paderborn on Sunday that trimmed Bayern Munich's lead at the top of the Bundesliga to seven points.
The outstanding Sancho, who now has 17 goals and 17 assists in the Bundesliga this season, joined a host of protests in the German top-flight over the weekend at the death of an unarmed black man in the United States.
Sancho later wrote on Instagram: "Delighted to get my first career hat trick, a bittersweet moment personally as there are more important things going on in the world today that we must address and help make a change."
Achraf Hakimi also joined Jadon Sancho in dedicating his goal to George Floyd:— FootballFunnys (@FootballFunnnys) May 31, 2020
Justice for George Floyd. 🙏👏 pic.twitter.com/lKrt4MQZpV
Morocco international Achraf Hakimi lifted his jersey to deliver the same message as Sancho after scoring Dortmund's fourth goal at Paderborn.
George Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis during an arrest by a police officer who pinned him to the ground for several minutes by kneeling on his neck, sparking protests across the US.
Marcus Thuram took a knee
Earlier on Sunday, Borussia Moenchengladbach's French forward Marcus Thuram took a knee to protest Floyd's death. Schalke's American midfielder Weston McKennie wore a "Justice for George" armband on Saturday.
Thuram's gesture echoed past protests by National Football League players in the US in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Because of social distancing rules, goal celebrations were muted but after Thuram headed his team's second goal just before half time he took the opportunity to make a solitary statement, kneeling and bowing his head.
At half time, his club tweeted a photo with the caption: "No explanation needed."
After the game, Gladbach coach Marco Rose said Thuram had his backing.
"Marcus has made the point. He has set an example against racism that we all support," Rose said.
McKennie's 'Justice for George' armband
On Saturday, Schalke's American midfielder Weston McKennie wore a 'Justice for George' armband as part of the growing protests over the death of an unarmed black man during a police arrest in the United States.
@s04_en midfielder Weston McKennie @WMckennie wears an arm band in support of the late #GeorgeFloyd during a #Bundesliga match against @werderbremen_en #BundesligaIsBack #MinnesotaProtests #USMNT pic.twitter.com/EAB6OVXVSQ— Sulaiman Folarin (@sulaiman4real) May 30, 2020
"To be able to use my platform to bring attention to a problem that has been going on too long feels good!!!," tweeted 21-year-old McKennie.
"We have to stand up for what we believe in and I believe that it is time that we are heard."
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Lars Baron