Cameroonian international player, Nicolas Nkoulou went on his knee after an opening goal for Torino as Serie A resumes, a way to pay tribute to health workers and victims of the COVID19, and support the Black Lives Matter campaign.
Nicolas Nkoulou, who is Black, headed in Torino’s opener at the 15th minute and immediately took a knee in honour of George Floyd, a black unarmed African America killed in cold blood by a police in the US.
“When I scored I immediately thought of my brother Floyd who is important to me,” Nkoulou said. Floyd, a handcuffed Black man, died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes.
The goal by the Cameroonian footballer was the first Serie A goal in 103 days since Coronavirus pandemic motivated lockdown and curfews around the world.
Torino’s Nicolas Nkoulou, knelt as he celebrates with his teammate Andrea Belotti after scoring his side’s opening goal, during the Serie A soccer match between Torino and Parma, at the Olympic Stadium in Turin, Italy, Saturday, June 20, 2020.
Torino played a draw 1-1 with Parma in the first Serie A game since the league was shut down more than three months ago.
Torino players wore a special kit with a message for healthcare workers on the players’ jerseys: “œThank you to all the heroes.”
A minute of silence was also observed before kickoff, a way to pay tribute all those who have died in the pandemic.
Just to recall that Italy has been one of the hardest hit countries by the coronavirus, with nearly 35,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19. It was also the first country in Europe to shut down its soccer league on March 9.
The Italian league, Serie A resumed with four matches on the schedule but in empty stadiums.
Hellas Verona beat Cagliari 2-1 in the late match. On Sunday Atalanta hosts Sassuolo and Inter Milan welcomes Sampdoria.
In Turin, Juraj Kucka leveled for Parma at the 31st minute leaving the scores at 1-1.
Nkoulou’s Torino, which had lost its previous six league matches before the shutdown, moved three points above the relegation zone.
Parma moved up to eighth, two points below Verona and three off a European spot.