Bayern expresses support for Black Lives Matter movement before Leverkusen win

Bayern expresses support for Black Lives Matter movement before Leverkusen win


Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich showed their support for the Black Lives Matter protests on Saturday, following the death of black American man George Floyd last month.

As thousands assembled in Berlin and Munich to demonstrate against police brutality and for racial equality, Bayern became the highest-profile German club to support the protests.

Prior to their clash with Bayer Leverkusen, players warmed up in t-shirts bearing both the Black Lives Matter hashtag and the slogan of the club's official “Reds Against Racism” campaign.

“FC Bayern stands for a world in which racism, discrimination, hate, injustice and violence have no place. The death of George Floyd and the images from the USA have shocked us all,” said club president Herbert Hainer in a statement.

“It's a matter of actively and loudly showing our colors. Black Lives Matter and Reds Against Racism. We stand for togetherness that goes far beyond sports.”

During the game, all Bayern players also wore black armbands bearing the words “Black Lives Matter.”

Munich's relentless march to an eighth successive Bundesliga title continued with a confident 4-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen –despite giving the hosts an early goal of a start.

Kingsley Coman, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry turned the game in Bayern's favor before the break after Lucas Alario's opener. Robert Lewandowski then ensured victory before 17-year-old Florian Wirtz grabbed a consolation.

Bayern now tops the table by 10 points from Borussia Dortmund, who can cut the gap again when they host Hertha Berlin in the late game. Third-placed RB Leipzig was held 1-1 by bottom club Paderborn after being reduced to 10 men.

Leverkusen stays fifth, outside the Champions League spots on goal difference behind Borussia Moenchengladbach who lost 1-0 at Freiburg on Friday. Mainz boosted their survival hopes 2-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt but Fortuna Dusseldorf drew 2-2 at home to 10-man Hoffenheim.

Bayern needs only six points from their remaining four games to confirm their 30th German championship though they will resume next week without the suspended Thomas Mueller and Lewandowski.

That surely ends Lewandowski's dream of matching Gerd Mueller's 40-goal tally from 1971/72 though he hit 30 as he and his team-mates more than gained revenge for Bayern's 2-1 loss to Leverkusen in Munich in November.

That was coach Hansi Flick's first loss in charge of Bayern and he has now won 23 of 26 competitive games.

Coman raced clear to level in 27 minutes after Goretzka pounced on a midfield error and the Germany international himself completed a counter-attack to put Bayern in front.

A long ball then released Gnabry to lob onrushing keeper Lukas Hradecky, who also could have done better with Goretzka's scoring shot.

It capped a remarkable turnaround from when Alario, who replaced the injured rumored Bayern target Kai Havertz in the team, coolly converted Julian Baumgartlinger's flick.

Leverkusen rallied after the break but Lewandowski's 66th-minute header ensured there was no comeback though Wirtz, the youngest ever player for the hosts, curled a fine consolation beyond Manuel Neuer.