Marcus Thuram took a moment in apparent tribute to George Floyd after scoring in Borussia Moenchengladbach’s 4-1 win over Union Berlin in the Bundesliga on Sunday.
The Gladbach forward, son of French hero Lilian, was left free at the far post to score the home side’s second goal with a header in the 41st minute. He briefly accepted teammates’ congratulations, then dropped his left knee to the ground and rested his right arm on his right thigh as he bowed his head in reflection. He spent five seconds in this position before getting up again to continue.
Thuram’s gesture was a reference to Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck.
“No explanation needed,” Gladbach said on Twitter with a picture of Thuram kneeling.
On Saturday, Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie wore an armband with the handwritten message “Justice for George” around his left arm. McKennie later said on Twitter: “We have to stand up for what we believe in and I believe that it is time that we are heard!”
Thuram scored again on Sunday, grabbing Gladbach’s third goal after Sebastian Andersson pulled one back for Union, but by then the French striker had already made his point.
Alassane Plea wrapped up the scoring with Gladbach’s fourth in the 81st.
Gladbach moved third, but can be overtaken Monday when Leipzig visits Cologne.
In the Bundesliga’s late match, perennial runners-up Borussia Dortmund showed some fighting spirit as they defeated bottom side Paderborn 6-1 but still languish seven points behind champions-in-waiting Bayern Munich with only five games remaining.
Thorgan Hazard grabbed Dortmund’s first before Jadon Sancho secured the win with a double. An Achraf Hakimi brace began a deluge of late goals that ensured the points were safe, before Marcel Schmelzer made it five. Sancho was not finished yet and he bagged a hat-trick with Dortmund’s sixth goal in the final 20 minutes.