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Prominent footballer and Black Lives Matter activist Benjamin Mendy charged with four counts of rape

Three complainants over the age of 16 have come forward to accuse professional soccer player Benjamin Mendy of the four counts of rape and one of sexual assault; they allege the attacks to have taken place between October 2020 and August of this year.

Mendy is 27 years old and has played for last season’s Premier League champions since 2017. A spokesman for the Cheshire Police said, “Cheshire Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service would like to remind everyone that criminal proceedings against Mendy are live and that he has a right to a fair trial.”

The BBC noted that he showed “no emotion” following his appearance in court. Manchester City also remarked on the accusations: “The matter is subject to a legal process and the club is therefore unable to make further comment until that process is complete.” The club said Mendy, who additionally plays for the French national team, has been suspended pending investigation. He is set to appear at Chester Crown Court on September 10.

Mendy has been open regarding his support for Black Lives Matter on several occasions. Others in the league have claimed the same support, even going so far as to wear jerseys which read “Black Lives Matter” on the reverse.

English actor Laurence Fox took to Twitter in response to the charges against Mendy. Fox’s first tweet, which was quickly flagged by Twitter, read, “Get kneeling, f*****s.” His account was briefly suspended following the message, and he was accused of racism because of it. However, Fox later went on to post a thread to Twitter to criticize professional soccer players for being “hypocrites: mega-rich babies who readily & ludicrously take the position of the oppressed, when all too often they have been the ones abusing their huge power for nefarious reasons.”

He also defended himself from the accusations that his original tweet was racist. “Instead,” Fox wrote,” I was instructing footballers to kneel for the victims of rape & sexual assaults committed by footballers – a point none of the usual, vocal campaigners picked up on [and] they clamoured to shoot the messenger and once again avoid the inconvenient message” (The Post Millennial).

Earlier in the thread, Fox said, “After all, these are not crimes committed by police officers 1000s of miles away, but by broken role models from within their own ranks?” Other top players who have previously been accused of rape are Christiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Karim Benzema, Franck Ribery, Diego Maradona, and David de Gea (Sport Mob).

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: EURO SPORT

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