Anthony Joshua, world heavyweight boxing champion, has described racism as a “pandemic” while addressing protesters at a Black Lives Matter rally on Saturday.
The 30-year-old British boxer was attending the march in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Floyd died on May 25, after an arrest by a police officer, who pinned him to the ground for several minutes by kneeling on on his neck.
His death has since provoked outrage across social media platforms while marches and protests have been held all over the world.
Joining the fray, the IBF, WBA and WBO world champion, who was wearing a knee brace and on crutches, told the crowd in his home town of Watford to “stand united against the virus that has been instrumental in taking lives”.
“The virus has been declared a pandemic, it is out of control, and I’m not actually talking about Covid-19. The virus I’m referring to is called racism,” he said.
Boxing heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has joined demonstrators in his home town of Watford to protest against racism and police brutality following the death of #GeorgeFloyd.
— SkyNews (@SkyNews) June 6, 2020
“Killing a person outright is unforgivable. But stripping them of their human right, oppressing them, mocking them, insulting them, placing glass ceilings above them just because of what, their skin colour, is just a slower way of killing them and taking the life out of their soul.
“We must unite as a human race. We can no longer, from today onwards, sit back and remain silent on the senseless, unlawful killing, sly racism of another human being based on what? Only their skin colour.
“We need to speak out in peaceful demonstrations, just like this today. If you want to joke about who I am, where I come from, my heritage, my lips, my nose, my skin, the food I eat, don’t feel too comfortable around me. Because I’m proud of who I am.”
The boxing champ also went hard on those who have blighted the movement by turning protest into looting. He cautioned all those involved to stop damaging the movement.
“We must not use a demonstration for selfish motives and turn it into rioting and looting. We need to be united in non-violent demonstration, show them where it hurts,” Joshua said.
Anthony Joshua makes his voice heard at today's Black Lives Matter protests in Watford. pic.twitter.com/48cJgFxG4x
— Boxing on BT Sport 🥊 (@BTSportBoxing) June 6, 2020
“Abstain from spending your money in their shops, and spend in economies that invest in black businesses. And that’s for all communities if you want to uplift yourself. Invest in your own businesses.
“We have to engage with the youth and put an end to black youth gang culture. This postcode war, how many houses do we own on that postcode we’re fighting for?
“Every life matters, 100 per cent I agree with that. But that does include black lives and that’s why we’re here today.
“George Floyd, we’re all aware of his name, was the catalyst in a list that is already way, way, way too long. But ask yourself a question – how does the looting for the latest flat screen TV help him or his family?
“How does burning down shops or taking another life stop the virus from spreading, and remember the virus we’re talking about is racism.”
The demonstration further stretches the global outrage that has continued to trail the killing of Floyd.
TheCable Lifestyle had earlier reported how several celebrities and media firms also joined the BlackOut Tuesday to also protest his death.
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