Aston Villa and Sheffield United to join together to salute Black Lives Matter movement

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Aston Villa plan a show of “solidarity” with their Sheffield United counterparts tomorrow to support Black Lives Matter.

The eyes of the world are set to be on Villa Park for the first Premier League game after the coronavirus shutdown.

Villa manager Dean Smith admits both sets of players intend to use the 6pm kick-off to make their feelings known about BLM after the killing of George Floyd in America.

Smith said: “All of our players feel very strongly about it, as they do in the Premier League and the EFL.

“It is great to see football gets a chance to come together at times like this and show solidarity.

“Our players will talk about it and I am sure they will speak to their Sheffield United counterparts as well about what we are going to do.

“I am definitely keen to do it and the lads will be keen to do it as well.

“We are due to chat about it.

“You can’t ignore what is happening in the world and we feel strongly about it.

“We have players who are very passionate about it as well and they have our full support.”

The lockdown has coincided with the Black Lives Matter movement growing after the death of George Floyd last monthin the USA.

Villa’s England defender Tyrone Mings subsequently attended a 4,000-strong protest in Birmingham and it sparked fears among Villa fans that the star could expose himself to the virus and derail the club’s preparations.

Smith said: “I wouldn’t necessarily say players can go and do what they want but if someone is passionate about something like Black Lives Matter, and it’s been in the news for everyone, then I fully support him for going and doing what he believes in.

“One thing I allow my players is the fact they use their common sense and social distance.

“There have been questions whether he asked for permission – he doesn’t need to ask me for permission to go and stand up for something he believes in, just like my players don’t have to ask me for permission to go to a supermarket where there is as much chance of contracting the virus.”

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