World heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua has faced criticism after taking part in Black Lives Matter protests this past weekend.
Joshua was seen attending a protest in Watford, Britain. The champion joined protesters walking the streets despite dealing with a minor knee injury.
The heavyweight boxer has been vocal about his support of the movement, taking the microphone at the protest to address the crowd.
These words were not taken kindly by some people online, with many people believing the heavyweight champion was encouraging people to boycott white businesses.
BT Sports shared a video of the speech to Twitter.
“We can no longer, from today onwards, be proud, we can no longer sit back and remain silent on the senseless, unlawful killings, sly racism of another human based only on what? Their skin colour. We need to speak out in peaceful demonstrations, just like today, so well done, Watford.”
After thanking the crowd for their involvement at the days protest, Joshua’s speech began to address ways he believed a message could be sent that didn’t involve rioting.
“We must not use the demonstration for selfish motives and turn it into rioting and looting. We need to be united in nonviolent demonstrations,” Joshua said.
“Show them where it hurts, abstain from spending your money in their shops and economies, and invest in black-owned businesses.”
“And that’s for all communities if you want to uplift yourselves, invest in your own businesses.”
Taking to twitter Joshua shared his response.
“If you think I’m a racist, go f*** yourself,” Joshua wrote on social media.
“If you watch the full video, the speech was passed around for someone to read and I took the lead”.
“I personally spoke from the heart about the Watford community, ideas of us personally investing seven figures to create unity and opportunities and adding change to the African/Caribbean community”.
“Shops aren’t the issue here. Before you talk s*** you better boycott racism. I said what I said and I will act to make change”.
Joshua was seen at the protests wearing a knee brace for his minor knee injury. At this stage, nothing has been said about how this will affect his scheduled bout with Kubrat Pulev in the fall.