The Museum of London will be collecting one of Arsenal’s iconic Black Lives Matter tribute shirts worn by captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the 2020-21 Premier League season.
The striker will donate his shirt to the museum as part of its ongoing Collecting COVID project, which is also documenting the Black Lives Matter protests that took place in London earlier this year.
The Black Lives Matter logo was added to all Premier League shirts when the season re-started this summer, following anti-racism protests across the globe. The Museum aims to ensure that this social movement and pivotal moment is documented in its permanent collection as part of Collecting COVID.
The project team is working with the Black Cultural Archives and community networks to identify how best to capture the Black Lives Matter protests during the London lockdown.
Many of Arsenal’s most defining moments in history are thanks to the contribution of its black players and last year Aubameyang became the latest black player to captain the club, following the likes of Patrick Vieira, Alex Scott and Thierry Henry.
Aubameyang’s donation marks the first item of this collecting strand to be announced and symbolises an important moment in London’s history as well as the vital role that football can play in delivering important social messages to a global audience.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Captain of Arsenal Football Club said: “I am proud to be the latest black player to captain Arsenal and it’s an honour to have the opportunity to donate my Black Lives Matter shirt to the Museum of London’s Collecting COVID project.
“I hope this will be remembered as the moment that football stood against all forms of racism and that it will inspire young people for the future.”
Foteini Aravani, Digital Curator at the Museum of London, said: “We are very excited about the generous offer from the captain of Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
“Arsenal has always served to create a sense of community for people in north London, across the UK and around the world from their first match in 1886 to now being one of London’s most successful football clubs.
“This jersey, part of Arsenal’s Black Lives Matter tribute kit, will be a very important addition to the growing number of objects the Museum of London is acquiring as part of our Collecting COVID project.
“This contemporary collecting builds upon the Museum’s rich collection of protest and activism, from the Suffragettes to the Brixton Riots and from the Brian Haw collection to Occupy London. Aubameyang’s jersey will join these items to act as an important reflection and response to Black Lives Matter as a movement and its resonance through London and its people.”
The Collecting COVID project, first announced in April 2020, is an active collecting project that seeks to reflect Londoners’ lives during the time of the Covid-19 crisis in order to keep a record to ensure future generations of Londoners will be able to learn about and understand this extraordinary period.