Allan Saint-Maximin: ‘George Floyd death does not have to happen again’

Allan Saint-Maximin moved to Newcastle last summer from Nice

Newcastle winger Allan Saint-Maximin says the issues and emotions raised by the death of George Floyd are ones that “touch everyone”.

Protests have been held across the globe after Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes on 25 May.

“It’s a really difficult time because I know these things can happen to a lot of people,” Saint-Maximin told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“If this happened to your mother or your sister or your father, you can feel like you want to die, you don’t want to go to work, you don’t want to do anything so people have to take this seriously and know that this does not have to happen again.”

The 23-year-old spoke about the subject as part of a wide-ranging interview, during which he also discussed his childhood, his desire to be selfless both on and off the pitch and how his dog has been helping him stay sharp during lockdown.

‘You can feel the pain’

Floyd’s death has caused outrage and sparked a wave of protests against racial discrimination and police treatment of African Americans in cities across the United States and the world.

Derek Chauvin, the police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers present face counts of aiding and abetting murder.

Saint-Maximin: It’s difficult to see everything. I see a lot of videos and I don’t like to see people hurt.

You can feel the pain. It’s a difficult time for me but we have to carry on and be careful.

I’m so sorry and so disappointed for George and for his family. I know this could happen to a lot of people, it could happen to my father or my brother.

That’s why I try to do my best to support. Even though it’s not in my country I think this touches everyone.

We see the story everywhere. If you can give support or help or do something, I think everybody just wants to help.

You can only know the pain when this happens to you, but you can understand and it’s important.

‘I have to take care of people’

Shortly after signing for Newcastle from Nice, Saint-Maximin visited the NUFC Fans’ Foodbank