Bayern supports Black Lives Matter as team closes on Bundesliga title
Bayern had to return from a first goal to secure their victory, Robert Lewandowski scoring his 30th league goal of the season in the second period to help seal a hard fought victory.
Closest challenger Borussia Dortmund scored a 1-0 home victory over Hertha Berlin to stay in touch, but with only four games left in the league season, Bayern are the favorites for an eighth title consecutive German.
But with large protests in Munich and Berlin for racial equality and against police brutality after the death of George Floyd last month, events outside the field have influenced events on this subject.
Bayern players warmed up in T-shirts with the hashtag Black Lives Matter and the club’s official logo “Reds Against Racism”.
“FC Bayern represents a world in which racism, discrimination, hatred, injustice and violence have no place,” said a club statement.
Last weekend, a number of Bundesliga players lodged their own protests, including Dortmund’s English star Jadon Sancho, Marcus Thuram, the son of French World Cup winner Lilian Thuram and American midfielder Weston McKennie of Schalke.
Before the matches this weekend, Bundesliga officials announced that there would be no sanctions for other players and teams for demonstrations against racism.
Bayer, looking to qualify for the Champions League, made a quick start with Lucas Alario on target before Kingsley Coman, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry fought back to give Bayern a 3-1 lead at the break.
Lewandowski made it 4-1, his 44th of the season overall, with Leverkusen teenager Florian Wirtz making his own Bundesliga history by becoming the youngest goalscorer in his history at 17 years and 34 days.
Bayern captain Manuel Neuer told Sky Germany after the match that his team wanted to show solidarity with the wider protests.
“As players, we always have the same message: we are tolerant, we are open, we are open to the world,” he said.
The Dortmund and Hertha players then took a knee before their match, which was settled by a goal from Emre Can in the 54th minute, with Sancho heavily involved in the preparation.