Despite boos heard during the friendly match won against Austria, the English team will continue to put their knees on the ground at the start of their meetings. Gareth Southgate, the manager, announced it before the second test against Romania.
“We are more determined than ever to kneel down,” said Gareth Southgate, England manager. These remarks made on Saturday come in reaction to the boos heard when the players put their knees on the ground at the start of the friendly match against Austria (1-0), as part of the Black Lives Matter movement against racism.
“We can accept that there is a critical reaction, but we are going to ignore it and move forward,” said the coach, according to a transcript of the BBC. He also asked critics to empathize with the players: “Some should put themselves in these young players’ shoes. How would they feel if their child was in this situation?”
After Wednesday’s game against Austria, which around 7,000 people attended, Gareth Southgate lamented that “some people do not get the message”. He added: “I’m glad the boos were covered by the majority of the crowd, but you can’t pretend it didn’t happen.”
A habit in England
The England players will therefore kneel down on Sunday late afternoon, during the friendly match planned against Romania (6 p.m.). This is the last test meeting for the Three Lions, who start the Euro on June 13 against Croatia. They will then face Scotland on the 18th, then the Czech Republic on the 22nd.
In England, the knee to the ground – a gesture of American footballer Colin Kaepernick, which became popular in the United States after the death of George Floyd – before the start of matches has become a habit in the league and in European competitions. Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha, however, said in February that he no longer wanted to kneel. “I grew up with my parents who taught me to be proud to be black, no matter what, and I think we should keep our heads up,” he argued.