Gareth Southgate says England squad may want to reconsider taking the knee after fans booed 6 months ago

Gareth Southgate says England squad may want to reconsider taking the knee after fans booed

"I think we have got a situation where some people seem to think it is a political stand that they don’t agree with."

England manager Gareth Southgate has suggested that the England team may reconsider taking the knee before matches. It's after the gesture was booed before Wednesday's friendly against Austria.

Parts of the 8,000 spectators at the Riverside Stadium booed loudly as both sets of players took the knee on the pitch before kick-off. The boos were quickly drowned out by applause from elsewhere in the crowd, but it follows a trend that has been seen across football stadiums in the country over the past couple of week as fans have been allowed back in stadiums.

England return to the same stadium on Sunday to face Romania in their second warm-up game ahead of the Euros. Southgate says that he will discuss a response with the squad, including whether a new approach should be adopted going forward.

"What has happened tonight probably means I need to have another conversation with the players first and foremost because I need see how they feel about it and that’s an important discussion for us to have," the England manager said after the 1-0 win.

"I know there was some concern in the past in March that we were losing some of the impact, so I think after what has happened tonight we need to consider whether we continue to do the same thing, whether we do something different and I’m sure the players will have a really good view on that."

In a separate post-match interview, Southgate said that the response to the gesture felt like a criticism of England's black players and believes that the intention and meaning behind the getsure has been misunderstood.

"It's not something on behalf of our black players that I wanted to hear because it feels as though it is a criticism of them," he said.

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"I think we have got a situation where some people seem to think it is a political stand that they don’t agree with. That's not the reason the players are doing it. We are supporting each other."