Heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua has criticised the Black Lives Matter movement, urging members to take practical measures to help minorities rather than tweeting and protesting.
The 26-year-old said activists should spend more time finding practical ways to help young people and support black-owned schools and businesses.
Joshua spoke at an event to launch Lucozade Sport’s Made to Move campaign as he led 300 fans on a run around Hampstead Heath.
The Olympic gold medallist told the Standard: “Black Lives Matter seems to be a whole thing where people are chanting and protesting and I’m not really into that. Just tweeting or instagramming about cop killings… that’s not the angle I would take.
“If everyone on one of those marches donated £100 you could invest in black-owned schools and black-owned banks and do stuff for the poor.
“There’s a lot of black spokespeople, but they’re singing from different hymnsheets. It’s time for the leaders to come together and work out a strategy.”
Earlier this month, nine protesters from Black Lives Matter chained themselves to the runway at London City Airport in a protest against “racist climate change” and disrupted flights for more than six hours. They got a conditional discharge in court.
The Watford-born fighter, undefeated after 17 professional fights, singled out the late Muhammad Ali as an “icon” but said boxing’s influence on politics had “died along with him”.
He added: “Ali was part of a civil rights movement and rallied thousands against the Vietnam War. There was so much more to him than a man with boxing gloves on.”
But while he admires Ali, he said he was not in a position to carry the civil rights torch himself: “I’m a fighter so I don’t have time to indulge in politics.”
Joshua has his 18th title defence in Manchester on November 26.
Made to Move aims to get a million people active by 2020.