July 8 (Reuters) - Players from the Orlando City SC and Inter Miami CF raised their right fists and took a knee before the league’s first match in four months on Wednesday in a show of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter social justice movement.
Some players wore t-shirts over their jerseys with the words “Black and Proud” and “Silence is Violence” before the match, and both team’s starting players as well as the referees took a knee just before kickoff of the first game of the ‘MLS is Back’ tournament in Orlando.
The kneeling protest was popularized by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016, and the gesture has again gained steam after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis in May.
The raised fist mirrors the protest against racial inequality by Americans John Carlos and Tommie Smith from the podium of the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games. (Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles. Editing by Gerry Doyle)