What did Mason's celebration mean?
The eagle-eyed among you may have spotted Mason Greenwood make a certain gesture, shortly after scoring the winner in Manchester United's victory at Wolves on Sunday.
Much of the immediate attention in the aftermath of the goal was on the home side's midfielder Ruben Neves, who lay stricken on the floor after a coming together with Paul Pogba.
Talk about a potential foul was also rife in the television studios after the full-time whistle, so it would have been easy to miss Greenwood’s celebration, just after he fired past Jose Sa.
Our no.11 raced towards the United fans, clearly delighted at scoring his third goal in our opening three Premier League games – the first teenager to achieve this in the top flight since Liverpool’s Robbie Fowler, in 1994.
For a brief moment, Mason crossed his arms over his chest in an X shape, before letting his emotions flow before the joyous United fans in the Steve Bull Stand.
So, what did that brief celebration mean? Well, the man himself explained it on social media, posting an image of the salute with the caption ‘Wakanda Forever’.
wakanda forever ♾ pic.twitter.com/E6gwDngZhR— Mason Greenwood (@masongreenwood) August 29, 2021
Also included in the post was a photograph from the 2018 Marvel superhero film, Black Panther.
The shot depicted American actor Chadwick Boseman – who played the title character, king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, in the movie – posed in the same stance, which has since gone on to become an anti-racism symbol around the world.
Mason’s celebration also acts as a tribute to Boseman, who tragically died from bowel cancer at the age of 43, in August last year.
Greenwood isn’t the first footballer to reference the film in his celebration.
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang donned a Black Panther mask after scoring in last year’s Community Shield, on the weekend Boseman’s death was announced.
And, in 2018, our very own Jesse Lingard used the 'Wakanda Forever' gesture to celebrate his winner against Chelsea at Old Trafford.