Sports Stars Stand Up for Palestinian Rights in Unprecedented Numbers
Active men and women football players (association and American), entire football teams, cricket players, basketball players, boxers and others have all taken to social media to courageously show their solidarity with Palestinians living under the brutal oppression of Israeli apartheid.
During Israel’s most recent round of violent attacks on Palestinians, athletes from around the world and across sports spoke up for Palestinians rights in unprecedented numbers.
As Israel carried out military assaults on besieged Gaza, killing more than 247 Palestinians, including 66 children, ethnic cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem, violent repression of protests against Palestinians and mass arrests across the occupied West Bank and within present day Israel, many in the sports world expressed outrage. Active men and women football players (association and American), entire football teams, cricket players, basketball players, boxers and others have all taken to social media to courageously show their solidarity with Palestinians living under the brutal oppression of Israeli apartheid.
Palestinian athletes have long documented Israel's brutal and persistent attacks on Palestinian sports. Israel has shot and imprisoned Palestinian athletes, and killed Palestinian children playing football, more than once. This past May, Israeli soldiers killed two promising football players, 16 year old Said Odeh of Balata in the occupied West Bank and Muath Nabil Al-Zaanin of Beit Hanoun FC in Gaza. Israel has bombed and destroyed Palestinian stadiums and sports structures, and it routinely denies freedom of movement to Palestinian athletes traveling to training and matches, both withing the occupied Palestinian territory and abroad. In 2018 alone, Israeli snipers ended the careers of dozens of Palestinian athletes in Gaza participating in peaceful protests. The Israel Football Association includes Israeli clubs based in illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land and has failed to address rampant racism in Israeli football.
Israel instead uses international sporting events to sports-wash its regime of military occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid against Palestinians.
Palestinians are calling on the world of sports to take a stand for Palestinian rights, by refusing to participate in Israeli sports-washing events and by joining the global campaign to boycott Puma due to its complicity in Israeli apartheid through its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association.
Below are just some of the recent expressions of solidarity from athletes and teams around the world.
UK Premier League footballers have been taking a stand for Palestinian rights.
— PACBI (@PACBI) May 24, 2021
Thank you! @paulpogba and Amad Diallo show solidarity with Palestinians.
In unprecedented numbers, football players are taking a stand for Palestinians rights.
— PACBI (@PACBI) May 18, 2021
Professional athletes are showing support for Palestinian rights, giving Palestinians hope. pic.twitter.com/YsqVqyiJud
— PACBI (@PACBI) May 15, 2021
Swedish football club Hammarby shows solidarity with Palestinians during first ever Swedish Cup win.
— PACBI (@PACBI) June 7, 2021
happy with the debut from the first minute with an assist ... my prayers go to Palestine pic.twitter.com/Ho0VMXWxIq
— Amad (@Amaddiallo_19) May 11, 2021
Choqué par les images de violences subies par nos frères et sœurs palestiniens…
Ne les oublions pas dans nos prières.
— Ismaël Bennacer (@IsmaelBennacer) May 11, 2021
my heart and my soul and my support for you Palestine pic.twitter.com/ywrpPk5Xmf
— Mohamed ELNeny (@ElNennY) May 10, 2021
— Riyad Mahrez (@Mahrez22) May 10, 2021
In the meantime apartheid continues and Palestinians are being expelled from their homes while most “leaders” are complicit with their silence at best and their direct support at worst. #SaveSheikhJarrah
— Fred Oumar KANOUTÉ (@FredericKanoute) May 7, 2021
— Chebake Issam (@ChebakeIssam) May 11, 2021
— achrafhakimi (@AchrafHakimi) May 10, 2021
— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) May 11, 2021
I’m calling on all the world leaders including on the Prime Minister of the country that has been my home for the past 4 years to do everything in their power to make sure the violence and killing of innocent people stops immediately. Enough is enough. @BorisJohnson
— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) May 11, 2021
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) May 19, 2021
— Çağlar Söyüncü (@Syncaglar) May 11, 2021
— Almamy Touré (@A_Toure38) May 11, 2021
Eid Mubarak to all my brothers & sisters may Allah bless you and accept your fasts and prayers. May he also grant jannah to those who have lost their lives in Palestine #FreePalestine #SavePalestine #SaveSheikhJarrah pic.twitter.com/q6hUwo7CJp
— Free Palestine (@KeshMan_) May 13, 2021
— Fenerbahçe SK (@Fenerbahce) May 11, 2021
Ethnic cleansing 101 https://t.co/O6uQyPehju
— Oday Aboushi (@Oday_Aboushi75) May 20, 2021
Prominent US women and men athletes show solidarity with Palestinians.@EdgeofSports: "Once silence has been broken, it is very difficult to stifle people back into submission."#SaveSheikhJarrah#GazaUnderAttack #InOurHandshttps://t.co/45RgrJqKGW pic.twitter.com/zLPrYOtplE
— PACBI (@PACBI) May 16, 2021
— Badou Jack (@BadouJack) May 11, 2021
— Amir Khan (@amirkingkhan) May 12, 2021
— Kagiso Rabada (@KagisoRabada25) May 12, 2021
— Babar Azam (@babarazam258) May 11, 2021
As an athlete who plays cricket around the world, I want to see this world out of war. I can’t watch people being killed in #Afghanistan & #Palestine. No crime is more heinous than the killing of a child. I want these children to wake up to the sound of birds & not bombs.
— Rashid Khan (@rashidkhan_19) May 12, 2021
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) May 10, 2021
— Shadab Khan (@76Shadabkhan) May 12, 2021
I just can’t understand why it is so difficult to treat others as you would want to be treated, or even better yet treat each others as human beings. #PrayForPalestine
— Daren Sammy (@darensammy88) May 12, 2021
The unjust acts of terrorism and cruelty happening in Palestine are totally unacceptable. Our hearts bleed for our Muslim brothers & sisters. In the final days of this Holy Month of Ramadan, I request everyone to pray for the situation in Palestine #WeStandWithPalestine pic.twitter.com/uuR9YOmKel
— Azhar Ali (@AzharAli_) May 12, 2021
Please stop picking and choosing and stand up for humanity. The world needs a good long look at itself if it’s going to let such things happen. pic.twitter.com/JGrgKokfqP
— Shan Masood (@shani_official) May 11, 2021