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Anthony Joshua blasts back at critics after Black Lives Matter protest speech: ‘If you think I’m a racist, go f*** yourself’

Anthony Joshua has strongly hit back at critics of his speech at the Black Lives Matter protest in Watford on Saturday.

The unified heavyweight champion took part in a march and park gathering in his hometown of Watford, where he was pictured on crutches wearing a leg brace.

Joshua holds the WBA, IBF & WBO titles

Dave Thompson/Matchroom Boxing

Joshua holds the WBA, IBF & WBO titles

At the park gathering, he took the microphone and spoke for several minutes.

AJ initially read out a speech from someone who could not be there to voice their own opinion.

He then went on to talk to a Watford councillor about securing a premises to further this discussion.

A brief snippet of the initial speech was taken out of context and uploaded to social media on Saturday evening, in which Joshua read out: “Show them where it hurts.

“Abstain from spending your money in their shops and economies, and invest in black-owned businesses.”

Joshua live streamed the protest on Instagram

Instagram

Joshua live streamed the protest on Instagram

Joshua responded to the backlash with a statement on Sunday evening: “If you think I’m a racist, go f*** yourself!

“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.”

In an earlier statement on Sunday, Joshua addressed other criticisms regarding social distancing at the event.

He said: “I understand the concerns in regards to social distancing.

“However I hope those who are complaining about social distancing have the same energy about those gathering for a day at the beach [and] those going to the park for a picnic.”

AJ attended the Black Lives Matter protest following the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis last month.

The injury is unlikely to affect Joshua’s plans to face Kubrat Pulev later this year

The injury is unlikely to affect Joshua’s plans to face Kubrat Pulev later this year

Addressing his injury, he added: “Respect for the supporters concerned about my leg.

“I buss my knee running miles in the woods.

“Doc said take all weight off it for two/three weeks.

“Still training, still active, still punching. Two weeks to [go], then it’s off.”

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