Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has decided to make a personal protest against racism following the ongoing “ignorance” demonstrated at football stadiums throughout Europe.
The 26-year-old France star came off the bench during United’s a 4-1 win win away to Newcastle on Thursday, when he wore black and white wristbands during the warm-up.
‘No to racism’ and ‘We are one’ read the wristbands that Pogba asked his team-mates to join him in wearing before the match, with the World Cup winner then presenting his to a young fan in the crowd.
Pogba later posted an image of that moment on Instagram with a Martin Luther King quote – “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that” – and the hashtag #NoToRacismWeAllOne.
“It was my idea to do that,” Pogba said of the wristbands, in an interview with Britain’s Press Association news agency.
“I mean, I’ve been thinking about doing this but I don’t want to go through the UEFA or the FIFA. I (have) done it myself.
“I think we have the chance to have this power to show things in football, on TV.
“People see it so I think that will make people understand some things.
“I think it’s ignorance. Ignorance and stuff like that, and just to show people that you are all one. We are all one.”
Pogba was subjected to racism on social media at the start of the season and he also mentioned Antonio Rudiger after the Chelsea defender was subjected to alleged racist abuse at Tottenham last weekend.
“I mean, a lot of players in a lot of leagues — not only in Premier League, in Italy, Spain, everywhere — and we keep hearing this (racism),” said Pogba.
“We are just football players, we want to enjoy that. The fans needs to enjoy coming and seeing some nice football and that’s it.