Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 5 August 2020

Manchester City star Gabriel Jesus condemns racism as he reveals he has been a victim of abuse

Striker was targeted while playing in Uruguay

Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus with manager Pep Guardiola. Reuters
Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus with manager Pep Guardiola. Reuters

Gabriel Jesus said it feels as though racists have not got brains as he revealed he had been a victim of racist abuse.

The Manchester City forward was the target of bigots when playing for Brazilian club Palmeiras in Uruguay and voiced his support for the Black Lives Matter campaign.

Last weekend, Bundesliga players, including the former City winger Jadon Sancho, showed their backing for the cause after the killing of George Floyd, an African American, by Minnesota police.

There has been a wave of protests across the world, and Jesus believes they have to be peaceful, but he believes a tipping point has been reached where millions of people have felt the need to speak out against racism.

“Racism isn’t a problem that only started in recent days and it isn’t normal, so people do feel that they have had enough, and they have exploded," he said.

“I’m against violence or any sort of violent protest. I’m all in favour of peaceful protests in order to say 'no to racism' and whenever we say 'Black Lives Matter', we should also read it correctly and understand the meaning behind it.

“We aren’t saying that other lives don’t matter, but we are saying that the lives of black people who feel racism, matter. We can’t generalise it.

“Not everyone is racist, the majority aren’t, but lots of people are and it’s like they haven’t got brains. So, when we use that sentence it’s because we know what it is to be a victim of racism. It is painful to feel it.”

Jesus said he learnt from the trauma of being abused, adding: “I have suffered a couple of times. I’ve managed to elevate myself [above it].

"On one occasion, I was in Uruguay whilst competing for the Libertadores Cup. One of the pictures I’ve recently posted is because I’m black and I’m from a favela and I was able to learn from those experiences, but everyone reacts and feels differently and I’ve got my way.

“This is a very important movement, because there is a time that people do wake up and these actions that we’ve seen lately aren’t normal and they shouldn’t happen.

"Therefore there is a moment that we have to say 'enough, time to stop' and it is important to show your position on this matter and this sentence is very clear on how tired people have been exhausted for a while, tired of injustice.

“I know it is difficult to speak about peace, but if we were to follow our lives based on peace, it would be a lot better.”

Updated: June 6, 2020 09:02 AM

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