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What I Learned – Thierry Henry kneels for 8:46 to honor George Floyd

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Montreal Impact manager Thierry Henry took a knee for eight minutes and 46 seconds in memory of George Floyd at the start of his team’s first game of the MLS Is Back Tournament against the New England Revolution. Floyd was killed at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department after having a knee pressed into his neck for that duration.Henry is in his first season as Montreal’s manager after a stint at the helm of Ligue 1 team AS Monaco. Henry enjoyed a storied playing career, most notably playing for Arsenal from 1999-2007. After a three-year run at Barcelona, he continued his playing career in MLS for the New York Red Bulls from 2010 until his retirement in 2014.Henry’s gesture comes one day after members of the MLS’s Black Players for Change initiative took the field to demonstrate before the start of the league’s first matches since returning from the coronavirus break. The group, comprised of players from across multiple teams, organized themselves in unison and raised their right fists in the air while sporting black gloves.The Black Players for Change group was formed on Juneteenth this year. The coalition’s Twitter page describes its mission as “working to bring more inclusion across all of MLS. Here to elevate and amplify our Black voices and Black communities.”The group’s 12-member board was formed in the days following Floyd’s killing on May 25. Toronto FC fullback Justin Morrow, who serves as the group’s executive director, hopes the coalition’s efforts will extend beyond the present moment and continue to drive conversations and change within the MLS community.”We’ve seen time and time again, the cycle of violence that happens in North America, where someone is killed – a Black man, or a Black woman is killed – and something else happens and people forget,” Morrow told Drake Hills of The Tennessean on Wednesday. “It’s our responsibility to carry this message and make sure that (forgetting) does not happen again.”

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