As the world continues to unite in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, Anthony Joshua galvanised his local community with an incredible speech on Saturday.
The world heavyweight champion addressed crowds in Watford, Hertfordshire who were rallying in a Black Lives Matter protest.
Filmed amongst a swarm of people, Anthony called for more peaceful campaigning and rejected the violence that has surfaced in the name of Floyd’s legacy.
Anthony, 30, said: “We can no longer sit back and be silent, the senseless and unlawful killing, the sly racism of another human being based solely on their skin colour.
“We need to speak out in peaceful demonstrations… we must not use the demonstrations for selfish motives and turn it into rioting and looting.
“We need to be united in non-violence, show them where it hurts and save from spending your money in their shops and economies by investing in black-owned business. And that’s for all communities, if you want to uplift yourself, invest in your own businesses.”
He continued: “We have to engage with the youth and put an end to black youth gang culture. I’m going to be real with you about gang culture, it is done, it is done trust me.
“Unless you want to be sitting in jail, spending years upon years of the only life that you have, thinking about, ‘yeah they can lock the locks but they can’t stop the clocks’, that’s all done. There are too many cameras, too much intelligence, all the OGs [original gangsters] I know are telling me, ‘yo, it’s finished’. Gang life is finished. Gang culture is done.
“We have to put an end to it… this postcode war! Every life matters. 100%, I agree with that. But that does include black lives, which is why we’re here today.”
He then went on to speak of Floyd, who died at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin after he knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during the arrest in Minneapolis.
Anthony continued: “George Floyd, we’re all aware of his name, is a catalyst in a list that is already way, way too long.
“But ask yourself this question, how does the looting for the latest black screen TV help him or his family? How does burning down shops and taking another life stop the virus from spreading? And remember the virus we’re talking about, is racism.”
Yesterday, Chauvin – charged with second-degree murder – made his first court appearance following Floyd’s death two weeks ago.