On Friday, in the wake of a tragic boat accident that took the lives of 26 migrants trying to reach the Aegean islands, Greek soccer players, officials, and coaches staged a sit-down protest against the treatment of refugees from Syria and Iraq during the ongoing migrant crisis.
According to Reuters, there was an announcement made over the PA before the kickoff between home team AEL Larissa and Acharnaikos, stating:
The administration of AEL, the coaches and the players will observe two minutes of silence just after the start of the match in memory of the hundreds of children who continue to lose their lives every day in the Aegean due to the brutal indifference of the EU and Turkey. The players of AEL will protest by sitting down for two minutes in an effort to drive the authorities to mobilize all those who seem to have been desensitized to the heinous crimes that are being perpetrated in the Aegean.
Greece has been one of the main entry points for refugees migrating to Europe, taking on a staggering estimated 2,000 refugees a day, despite the country having a considerable economic crisis of its own.
Despite the game's relatively thin attendance, the teams and their staff were greeted by resounding cheers and applause from the fans—a cathartic public show of the empathy that comes with playing host to hundreds of thousands of people in need.