Gabriel Jesus believes growing support for the Black Lives Matter movement comes from people being “exhausted” from suffering injustice and racism.
The Brazil and Manchester City footballer has added his voice to those calling for change amid the protests that have swept the United States and beyond in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.
Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25 after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Derek Chauvin was dismissed and charged with second-degree murder, while the three other officers on the scene have also been sacked and charged with aiding and abetting a murder.
Numerous figures from the world of sport have spoken up with demands for change and Jesus knows personally that the ravages of racism run deep.
“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, before taking aim at what appears to be a wilful misinterpretation of the Black Lives Matter cause in some quarters.
“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.”