Heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua delivers powerful speech at Black Lives Matter protest in England

As protests continue throughout the United States and around the world in the wake of the death of George Floyd, one of the biggest sports stars in England took to the streets. Anthony Joshua, the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight boxing champion, declared racism a pandemic.

“We stand united against the virus that has been instrumental in taking lives, lives of the young, old, rich and even poor,” Joshua said at a Black Lives Matter march in Watford, a suburb of London. “A virus that is not apologetic. A virus that spreads across all sectors of our community, sports, education, churches, entertainment, media and even the government. Not just in the UK, but across the world. The virus has been declared a pandemic, it is out of control. And I’m not actually talking about COVID-19. The virus is called racism. How long are we going to allow racism to spread throughout our communities.”

Joshua added that, “You are the vaccine. I am the vaccine.”

Joshua, who was scheduled to defend his championships against Kubrat Pulev this month before the coronavirus pandemic caused the fight to be postponed, was also seen on crutches and sporting a large brace. According to reports, he suffered a knee injury while running and requires 4-6 months of rest, though he suffered no torn ligaments. 

Floyd, a black man, was killed while being arrested by police in Minneapolis after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Chauvin and three other police officers at the scene have been charged with Floyd’s murder. Protests have been held daily across the globe since Floyd’s death on May 25.

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