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Orange County SC stop game against San Diego Loyal to protest racism

USL Championship club joins other pro athletes in making a symbolic statement.

Courtesy of Orange County SC.

Orange County SC returned to action Saturday with a home game against San Diego Loyal, and the teams came together to stop the game as a form of player and team protest against racism in our society.

The teams stopped play at the 7-minute mark at Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine, where they stood around the center circle together and stood quietly until the 8:46 mark of the game. OCSC forwards Ugo Okoli and Darwin Jones each held up one fist while standing.

The protests come after the shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin last week. Subsequent violence in the city further sparked attention on the matter, with athletes in multiple sports, including the NBA, WNBA, Major League Baseball and MLS, went on strike Wednesday and did not play their scheduled games at all.

While MLS has subsequently returned to action, USL did not have any game cancellations that day, but a few games have been subsequently been cancelled as a protest about racial injustice, while other games have included players kicking off and then walking off the field, and still others did what Orange County and San Diego did Saturday, in stopping the game at 7:00 and standing still until the 8:46 mark. The seven was for the seven shots Blake suffered, while the 8:46 was in honor of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis earlier this summer, after being suffocated for eight minutes and 46 seconds.

The broadcast noted that Orange County SC supported the players’ efforts and wished to seek equality in society.

After the 8:46 mark of the game passed, the teams got back into action in the match.

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