Manchester United produced a dominant performance in their 4-1 victory against Newcastle United on Boxing Day (December 26). Anthony Martial scored a brace while Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood got on the scoresheet for United. Matthew Longstaff scored for the Magpies. While their on-field performance was a positive sign for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men, United made an off-field statement by wearing anti-racism wristbands during the game.
Paul Pogba wants leading players to spearhead fight against racism by using their “power” to educate the ignorants after drawing inspiration from Stand Up, Speak Up wristband campaign #mufc https://t.co/WZhGhc9c5u— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) December 28, 2019
Racism has been a major issue in football for quite some time. Racist chants have begun plaguing the game during international matches as well as club matches. The vile chants made their way to the Premier League after Antonio Rudiger was abused by some section of the supporters during Chelsea's clash against Tottenham Hotspur. Several football players raised their voice against racism with Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba aiming to spearhead a movement.
Speaking to a news channel after United's victory over Newcastle United, Paul Pogba revealed that it was his idea that his teammates wear the anti-racism wristbands during the game. The 26-year-old admitted that he wanted to take a stand against racism for quite some time but without going through FIFA or UEFA. The World Cup winner with France apparently got the idea from Thierry Henry's 'Stand Up, Speak Up' wristband campaign (from back in 2005). According to Pogba, with support from the top stars in the game, they could possibly educate the ignorant supporters about racism.
Manchester United wore the wristbands which read 'We Are One' during the game. Paul Pogba entered the game as a substitute after Scott McTominay picked up an injury. The Frenchman handed his own wristband to a young fan in the crowd after the game. He later put up a post on social media with a quote from Martin Luther King and #NoToRacismWeAllOne.
With racism taking centre stage in global football, it is becoming increasingly evident that a major stand needs to be taken against the ultras.