Should England players stop ‘Taking the knee’ because of fans booing?

Gareth Southgate has said that, after a section of fans booed his players taking a knee at the Riverside, he will ask his squad if they want to continue the pre match ritual during the Euros?

“It’s not something on behalf of our black players I wanted to hear because it feels as though it’s a criticism of them. I think we have got a situation where some people seem to think it’s a political stand that they don’t agree with. That’s not the reason the players are doing it; we’re supporting each other,” Southgate said.

I am normally impressed with the way England manager speaks, but this seems bizarre. If your team believe in something, they shouldn’t be influenced by what others think.

A pattern has emerged that any supporters, players or even clubs who disagree with the act are dismissed as not understanding it’s not political.

First of all, it’s quite arrogant for anyone to think they know what a stranger is thinking.

There will be those who think the gesture is an advertisement for The ‘Black Lives Matter’ party.

That’s because the Premier League over a year ago literally put ‘Black Lives Matter’ all over their product.

While their motives were good it was embarrassing that one of the UK’s biggest brands didn’t understand what they were actually promoting.

That’s why they had to, embarrassingly and awkwardly, clarify that there were parts of their ethos they agreed with, but other parts they didn’t want to be associated with.

In other words they had to be told by saying ‘black lives matter’ they were supporting funding being taking away from the police in the USA.

Just because they now say forget that, some connect ‘taking the knee’ to BLM because that’s what you told them.

Trust me, those in charge of the political party enjoyed the free promotion.

That’s not the reason I have for a long time been against taking the knee. I have long felt it’s a PR exercise, football ticking a box.

As someone who cares deeply about the fight against racism, I find it almost offensive how transparent the motive is.

I would much rather the FA agreed to tougher sanctions such as point deductions, lifetime bans, etc.

I want to see social media companies put in policies where users have to register details.

I want to see a Man City fan, found guilty of making monkey chants in the Manchester Derby, punished with more than just a 3-year stadium ban.

Without any of that going on, seeing people take a knee means nothing to me, an empty gesture. It’s easy to take a knee. It’s harder to actually implement change.

In the same week my national players are taking a knee, I was in shock when I was sent a link to a fan channel.

I won’t name anyone as I don’t want those guilty to garner any views off the following.

A 15-year-old found it funny to shout out racial slurs while his host (in his thirties) laughed.

What’s worse?

That a child thinks this is how to get attention and show off?

Or that a grown adult wasn’t educating him?

You hear all the time how cowards hide behind their keyboards yet here was racism happening right in front of me. It was surreal.

Almost as an experiment, I have spent the last few days keeping an eye on the Channel to see what YouTube do?

The channel is still running, the video is still available to watch.

So on one hand I’m watching (instead of people talking about Arsenal) vile racism with zero reproach. Then I’m meant to believe that the world is committed to fighting racism based on people taking a knee.

The fact that in 2021 a teenager has grown up thinking that’s how you act on social media means society has failed him.

Didn’t sport have a weekend online boycott for this reason?

Is Sky’s initiative not for the public to report online abuse?

It’s there for the world to see. One boy being racist, one man laughing, and nothing has been done about it.

Southgate is normally so articulate, someone who thinks before he answers questions.

Most English people don’t tolerate racism. So it’s wrong to dismiss those jeers in midweek as people either not understanding politics, or worse not having empathy for those subjected to discrimination.

I would suggest it’s because the majority are so disgusted, they want to see action – not hiding behind players taking a knee.

With increasingly more people coming back to venues, the media can’t spin the narrative like they could when they were piping in fake noise.

It would not shock me that when the new season starts ‘taking the knee’ is phased out.

My own view is I go to the Emirates for escape, to get away from how messed up the world is. I don’t want to be reminded about racism.

Because that’s the irony.

Taking the knee doesn’t spread awareness that football is fighting racism, it reiterates that nothing is being done to stop it.


Be kind in the comments


Tags England southgate


  1. All teams should stop it, not just England. And all BLM messages should be replaced with All Lives Matter

    1. Or just removed – all lives matter is political also at this point.
      Kick it out would work for me though…

        1. You misunderstand the phrase ” Black Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter” is quite an offensive phrase to those in n the black community. I’ve found this passage in an article to help explain it

          “It’s also a complete misunderstanding of what the phrase “black lives matter” means. The person on the receiving end interprets the phrase as “black lives matter more than any other lives.”

          But the point of Black Lives Matter isn’t to suggest that black lives should be or are more important than all other lives. Instead, it’s simply pointing out that black people’s lives are relatively undervalued in the US — and more likely to be ended by police — and the country needs to recognize that inequity to bring an end to it.

          To this end, a better way to understand Black Lives Matter is by looking at its driving phrase as “black lives matter, too.” So all lives do matter, obviously, but it’s one subset of lives in particular that’s currently undervalued in America”

          1. The Asian people’s lives seem more undervalued and more racially prejudiced than the Africans’ in the US. I watched more violence, intimidations, racial taunts and aggressions committed against them by other races, instead of the opposite

            A slogan that mentions only one identity group is wrong, unless it’s a political message

          2. I think Stephanie by adding ‘too’ makes a lot of sense as I do understand the meaning of the original message
            The difficulty arises if the view that only black lives are less valued than all other ethnic groups. Is that the case? Are as GAI says the Asian and SE Asian communities also suffer

        2. the problem is … supporters are there to support the team and the “team” are telling the supporters they are racists.
          no one is getting this. espacially the disconnected england manager and squad.

  2. Isn’t reminding people that not enough is being done to fight racism a laudable motive ? I dont think any one is naive enough to think that taking the knee is a magic wand but it helps keep the issue on the agenda.

    Black Lives Matter party? No doubt the movement has political elements but not sure why you would describe as as a party. Never came across that language before in relation to BLM. Maybe I’m behind the times.

    1. because its literally a political party / movement founded in 2013 by three activists who set up a network
      they grew to 50 groups in america to having organisations around the world with funding


  3. If one can mentally distance taking the knee from the BLM political movement, then I have no problem with players showing their support for their united abhorrence of racism. There is no doubt there is racism still running, like a cancer, through our society, but we can try to stop it by gathering together in support of those who are at the receiving end of racism.

  4. Initially taking the knee was performed by Colin Kaepernick ( ) to bring attention of Americans to the problems of rascism still evident in that country.
    This picture of rascism in America and the institutional rascism evident in American law enforcement were sadly bought into focus with the killing of George Floyd by a white officer who kept his knee on a dying mans neck for 8m and 46secs so for me it is also about commemorating with sadness and solemnity this act of gratuitous violence.
    The idea of this being in anyway a homage to a political party is because various rascist political parties wish to define and belittle acts of solidarity exhibited by anti rascists.

    1. Please all just read again what Diaminedave wrote. This is what taking the knee means. The racists have now twisted this action into this gesture belonging or celebrating a political party. It is Not! They also tried to say it was about disrespecting the American flag and war hero’s. It is Not!

  5. BLM is an extremist hate movement who promote violence, disorder and black power.

    It is causing more hate than unity.

    There should be a completely new approach, from the Fa, Uefa, FIFA and all confederations to try and keep, politics, religion, racism and all forms of divisiveness away from sport. Sport and in particular football should be a big enough global movement in itself to not have to resort to outside movements sticking their noses in. Let’s get back to sport is for everyone message. Make sure the social media platforms realise they have a problem. The general media, do not report unfair, fake or over dramatised news and gossip.

  6. With no European football next season, it will be just one Arsenal game a week for the majority of the time. Is it too much to ask, that for just 1.5 hours a week, we can get away from politics, personal and world problems, gender issues, etc, and just enjoy some entertainment?

    TV, cinema, other sports, news, have already been corrupted by all this, can we save football?

  7. Booing just underlies the need to keep it up. Seriously, don’t know what is wrong with some people – if you don’t like it, shut up and live with the less than one minute. If you actually feel you need to boo, take a peak in the mirror…

    1. and my comments were not directed at my fellow posters – fully respect your right to disagree.

      1. But supporters in the stadiums are paying money (a lot at certain grounds) to watch football. They’re not paying money to be constantly bombarded with politics, or any other non footballing issues.

        It’s a football match not Question Time!

        1. Players taking the knee equates to “constantly bombarded by politics”?
          The medal presentation for the 200m medal presentation in Mexico City where Tommy Smith (USA) gold, Peter Norman (Australia) silver and John Carlos (USA) bronze all wore human rights badges and Smith and Carlos raised black-gloved fists was in 1968. How much has changed regarding racism since then?

  8. Can’t people put up with something they don’t like for one minute?

    Some of those same people have been the ones throwing banana peels and making monkey noises, and much worse, so maybe it is the perfect place to be political.

    1. But the whole point of things like football, is that its escapism. Some people have really tough lives, so doesnt something like a football match or a film act like an extremely important antidote? A world where people can lose themselves in, albeit, maybe only 2 hrs a week. Too not be reminded of all problems going on.

      Now this 2hr sanctuary is being taking away from us. Because believe you me, BLM is just the beginning. I’m here in Australia, and they even been talking about vaccinations at a footie match I think it was over here.

      In regards to the extreme minority of racism at games. Deal with those individuals, and ban them for life. The masses do not need to be subjected to critical race ideology. If I want that, I’ll watch the news, or take a class, otherwise, I came to watch a game of football and nothing else!

      1. Here here,a voice for the majority of supporters who just want to watch a decent(hopefully!)game of football.,well said ThirdManJW

  9. Just from this column, I would suggest that the kick it out campaign is something more worthwhile, and was started by the PL, and has no links to Marxism, anarchy etc, so is something everyone can get behind irrespective of politics.

  10. Ask yourself this…. Why r u so against a gesture that takes nothing away from anything else. How does it affect the game? Claiming that u go 2 football matches to escape is not only elitist but is trying 2 have ur cake n eating it. What action do u think the capitalist dystopia the white man has created would be taken up by social media and other stakeholders? Let taking a knee b voluntary

  11. As a black man I’ve never understood why we needed to kneel and show that black lives matter, OF COURSE THEY Matter, why should we make others pander to that movement as if our lives never mattered.

    I don’t need other race’s acknowledgement to know black lives matter.

    It’s things like these and us whining constantly about social media abuse that makes us viewed as lesser than others, it’s comes off as us needing affirmation from others about our value.

    I get mad when I see grown, successful and young talented black sports superstars whining about silly comments from incels who remain anonymous on socials.
    They actually give them power by complaining publicly.

    I don’t need no Raheem Sterling or a Paul Pogba kneeling to show I have value, I’m sorry.

  12. My take is fundamentally different from many on here. I do not in speaking(as opposed to print, where it is sadly necessary, in order to have others understand me) ever use the term black or white or ethnic or any other commonly used words that label certain people.

    When you believe all people are truly equal, it is as pointless to say someone is black, Asian, gay, white, disabled, young, older, middle aged, etc etc as to say they are 5ft 10, or 6ft 5ins or 3ft 9ins etc or have long hair, short hair, no hair etc.
    We are all individuals and all different from every other person on the planet, which is a massive gift to all humankind.

    BUT what we all share is massively more important than any label or word that seeks to divide us. That is an even bigger gift to all humankind.

    I do not even like using , when speaking, the words black or white, as we humans are not in fact black nor are we white. That we need to label any person at all ever is unhelpful to society. We would all be far better off if we referred only to people by their actual NAME. Then they would become individuals but known as, sarah, ranjit, lee, etc and have their own identity as a person not as part of a group.

    We should all see every other member of our race as a person, not as a member of a group, with a lable attached to them. THAT is the way to banish hatred, suspicion and being afraid of “strangers”( a dreadful and unnecessary word).

    We need to fundamentally alter the way so many of us think and react and to stop, from this momemt on, using any labels that seek to label any person as a member of agroup or type of culture that separates them from us , instead of bringing them closer and making friends. How many of you refer to the postman, the milkman, the nurse the teacher etc instead of sarah, ranjit, lee etc? What is wrong with saying SARAH THE TEACHER OR RANJIT THE NURSE? And then in time they simply become sarah or ranjit and not the teacher or the nurse, even though we will know what their profession is

    Start using actual names, not labels, and begin right now. It will change how we humans look at all other humans and stop us mistrusting and being suspicious of other members of the one label we all share ; humans!

    That being said, of course we all in print, myself very much included, DO use lables all the time And look how it leads to arguments and differences! Chavs, Scousers Spuds, Gooners. Mancs etc; helpful or divisive?

    If I have made even one person look differently from before at things then this post will have been worthwhile. If not then it is pointless. You decide for yourselves, my fellow humans!

  13. It’s a cringeworthy / pandering virtue signaling.
    Please stop it, because taking a knee is not going to change anything apart from alienating. It makes proper Anti-racism groups lose allies. BLM is joke group that thinks we all have to pander to it.

    It’s founders are now multi-millionaires. Just researched. So these people are profiting off this nonsense while alienating allies.

  14. DAN it is plain that when fans boo taking the knee, that some are doing so for one reason, some for another reason and many others for yet another. Crowds do not all think as one and booing will continue, I believe . Personally, I find that booing to be disgraceful, as whatever anyones take on racism, it is a disgrace to boo someones elses stance against it, even if those kneeling do no more than make a token gesture.


    Each fan must make their own mind up how to react to taking the knee, much though I would personally love them to applaud, not boo it.

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