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Journalism of Courage

End SARS: Odion Ighalo, Lewis Hamilton join protest against police brutality in Nigeria

Sports stars across the world are speaking out against police brutality in Nigeria.

Ighalo made the video after United's win over PSG while Hamilton wore #EndSARS tshirt at Portuguese GP press conference.

Sports stars including Manchester United midfielder Odion Ighalo and Formula One star Lewis Hamilton joined the protest against police violence in Nigeria over the last few weeks.

Peaceful protests against police brutality began on October 8 after a video allegedly showing a Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), an infamous police unit, operative killing a man went viral on social media. The #EndSARS hashtag swiftly started trending, boosted in by celebrities across the world.

At the Portuguese Grand Prix, Hamilton switched from his usual ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-shirt to reveal a green T-shirt with #EndSARS written on it. “I’ve got to show this,” said the Briton. He posted about the same on his Twitter handle and wrote, “We all have a responsibility to educate ourselves and raise awareness of the tragedies happening in the world around us and take action where we can. The recent events in Nigeria are a human rights crisis”.

Manchester United striker Ighalo said he is ashamed of the Nigerian government following reports that soldiers opened fire on protesters in the Lekki district of the commercial capital Lagos on Tuesday.

“The Nigerian government, you guys are a shame to the world for killing your own citizens, sending military to the streets to kill unarmed protesters because they are protesting for their own rights? It’s uncalled for,” he said. “You people will be remembered in history as the first government to send the military to the city to start killing their own citizens. I am ashamed of this government, we are tired of you guys and we can’t take this anymore.”

Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Chelsea duo Tammy Abraham and Antonio Rudiger, as well as former African Footballer of the Year Frederic Kanoute, have lent their voices to the protest against police brutality in Nigeria.

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This is the first time the protest in Nigeria has garnered such widespread support and international media coverage – thanks, largely, to the prominent role of social media in spreading the word.

First published on: 26-10-2020 at 07:28:15 pm
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