Joseph-Claude Gyau of FC Cincinnati: “This is not a political position, it is basic human rights”
Joseph-Claude Gyau of FC Cincinnati first learned on Wednesday of historic events unfolding in American sport, like many around the country, via a notification on his phone that the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks would not be participating in their playoff game scheduled against the Orlando Magic.
From there, things started to cascade, as more NBA, WNBA and MLB players choose not to play their games to protest the police shootout against Jacob. Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Sunday. And MLS players echoed that position, resulting in the postponement of five of six Major League Soccer games scheduled for Wednesday night.
“It was huge to see that,” Gyau told reporters on a conference call Thursday. âI got the notification that the Bucks weren’t going to play a playoff game, which is huge. To take a stand at this level, where the viewership is huge, especially so deep into the season, in the playoffs, to take such a position was great. Seeing these guys come together in such a short time – because I heard they made that decision shortly before the game – and then a few hours after seeing that the [Cincinnati] The Reds decided they weren’t going to play the game and it all worked out with MLS.
âJust to see the unity, the solidarity around all sports was heartwarming to see. That guys are fed up. The guys all agree, that’s enough. It doesn’t suit anyone, all races, not just black athletes. For me, personally, I was happy to see that.
Gyau, who grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, and spent his entire professional career in Germany until joining the FCC in 2019, congratulated all of the players who took a stand on Wednesday, not just to protest Blake’s shooting, but to support the continued movement to end police brutality and systemic racism in America.
âYesterday was a historic moment. I congratulate all the players for taking a stand, for facing such a tragic event and for letting people know that enough is enough, âsaid Gyau. Because with the pursuit of the sport, it kind of gave the conversation an opportunity to calm down a bit.
“I think the players want to point out that it’s not something that’s gone,” he continued, noting that innocent black people have continued to be killed by police since George Floyd was murdered. in Minneapolis in May. âIt’s just heartbreaking to see something like this continue to happen, especially without repercussions. Seeing some of the videos of the shooting at the Wisconsin protests was also horrific.
âA lot of people tend to say that we bring politics into the game. It’s not a political position, it’s basic human rights: people stand up for their freedoms, stand up for their rights and stand up for their lives, basically. Saying we don’t want to be killed anymore, we don’t want to be shot anymore. There is nothing political there, they are basic human rights.
He concluded: âI respect all the players who made this choice yesterday not to go out on the field. I really want to pay tribute to Jacob Blake and his sons. They witnessed a horrific act that will traumatize them for the rest of their lives, seeing their father shoot himself seven times in the back. No child should even have to imagine something like this. I think it was important to bring awareness to the issues at hand. “