Sport’s sweeping statements of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement reached the unlikely environs of a largely deserted Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes on Wednesday.
World number 78 Alfie Burden took a knee prior to the start of his Championship League match against Ryan Day, emulating the protests which have spread since the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
Burden, a former Arsenal apprentice who is also a coach at Southern League Hendon, said he made the gesture to emphasise the importance of all those with a platform taking the opportunity to speak out.
— Championship League (@CLSnooker) June 3, 2020
The 43-year-old said: “It was very important. I stand behind the fight against racism. It’s a disgraceful thing, the well-documented death of George Floyd in America.
“It was my platform to say how I felt about things. We are united together. There is no place for racism in society. That was my platform. I wanted to make my feelings known today.”
Burden lost his opening match of the league-style tournament 3-0 to Day, and was beaten by the same score against Kyren Wilson, before overcoming Chen Feilong in his final group game.
Day beat Wilson in a high-quality final match of the night to ensure his progression to the next stage of the competition.
The pair had gone into the evening’s final game with identical records after both players had whitewashed Burden and drawn their matches against Chen.
However, Wilson held the upper-hand with the day’s highest break of 88, meaning if his four-frame match against Day ended level, he would be the one to progress.
Day immediately overturned his advantage with an opening break of 91, and won the second frame, meaning Wilson not only had to win the last two frames of the match, but compile a break of over 91 in the process.
Despite achieving his first goal with a break of 111 in the third frame of the match, Wilson could not complete the job as Day stormed over the line with a break of 86 for a 3-1 win.