The Brisbane Lions have been praised by fans after the club’s squad of players joined together in a touching show of support for Indigenous Australians.
The Lions’ playing group paused to take a knee at the Gabba on Friday in a powerful message of unity and support for the club's Indigenous collective.
The AFL club’s Indigenous players had addressed the club on Thursday night after days of protests around the world sparked by the death of George Floyd in police custody in the United States.
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And their words struck a chord, the team responding with a solemn gesture popularised when former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the American national anthem to protest racial injustice and policy brutality.
The Lions posted video of the players' powerful statement on the club's social media account, as supporters responded with an overwhelming show of appreciation.
Last night our proud Indigenous players along with Archie Smith of African American descent, addressed the team about the impact current events have had on them.— Brisbane Lions (@brisbanelions) June 5, 2020
This is how the team chose to show their support to their teammates, their families, and the Indigenous community. pic.twitter.com/Hiutgx4IVJ
An incredibly powerful way of showing 'we have your back' 😭— Daniel Wong (@daniels_den) June 5, 2020
This is fantastic!— HKelly (@hkelly33) June 5, 2020
Love this club. ✊— Delvis (@delvis_the) June 5, 2020
Every gesture of solidarity matters, great work guys.— travis (@TRAVISMANAU) June 5, 2020
Super proud of the club today!— Sam G (@LionsfanSam) June 5, 2020
So much love 🖤💛❤💚💙✊🏾— Jules (@julsie75) June 5, 2020
👏👏— Michael Grigg (@mgrigg83) June 5, 2020
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The Lions' gesture came at the conclusion of National Reconciliation Week, something Indigenous Lions player Allen Christensen said the club has begun to take more seriously.
"When I got here six years ago it felt like we were a club where reconciliation week would roll around and we would just pump out a jumper and that was it,'" he told The Roar Deal podcast.
"I think there are a lot of businesses and companies and sporting organisations that do that and I've been thinking the pasts few days how I'm really proud that this isn't a one week or two week thing for us, it is part of our culture now."
All four sacked police officers involved in Floyd's death have now been charged as protests continued across the US.
In Sydney there is a push from officials to stop the "Black Lives Matter" protests slated for Saturday in a bid to make sure COVID-19 social distancing rules are followed.
On Wednesday, AFL superstar Lance Franklin made a rare public foray into the race debate, noting that Indigenous Australians are far more likely to be jailed than even African-Americans.
Opals star Liz Cambage encouraged Australians to march on Saturday, while NBA veteran and Boomers star Patty Mills has dedicated his life away from the court to the advancement and understanding of Australia's Indigenous people.
with Yahoo Sport staff