GB News presenter takes the knee live on air after Euro 2020 racism 2 months ago

GB News presenter takes the knee live on air after Euro 2020 racism

The presenter said that he "gets it" why players took the knee before games.

A GB News presenter has sparked debate amongst the channel's audience after taking the knee live on air.

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Guto Harri was presenting alongside Mercy Muroki on Tuesday morning, with the two discussing the gesture and the racist abuse that Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all received after England's penalty shootout heartbreak against Italy.

Harri said that he understands why players took the knee before each game and admitted that he "may have underestimated how close to the surface racism still is."

Harri said to his co-host: "I'll tell you where I am. I've never understood why people would find it offensive.

"I can see and I tended to be one of those people that thought do we really have to do this at every football match, can't we just enjoy whatever sport we're in to?

"But having seen over the past few days just how close to the surface, just how deep-rooted, just how hideously ugly racism among some England fans is, I totally get why this squad throughout thought we have to say, day in, day out, that racism is not on.

"And I actually with the benefit of hindsight, I may have underestimated how close to the surface the racism still is, I actually get it."

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Harri then got up to perform the gesture live on air, saying: "I think we should all take the knee.

"In fact, why not take the knee now and say it’s a gesture but it's an important gesture.

"It's not about me in the studio but for them to do that as footballers on the field makes sense.

"They're saying it's just not right and racism has no place in football and no place in modern Britain."

The gesture sparked a reaction on Twitter from viewers.

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One user commented: "I think you just lost the majority of your viewers."

Another said: "Sorry but thought it would be different on here. No different to the rest of MSM [mainstream media]. Unfollowed!"

A third said: "Think you will come to see this as the incident that seriously damaged your long-term prospects @afneil"

One described it as "embarrassing to watch."

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The reaction wasn't all negative though.

One person commented: "We wanted impartiality, we wanted balance, we wanted honesty and breadth of opinion - this is what @GBNEWS continues to give us. Guto takes the knee, Muroki responds. All good."

And responding to a user who argued that GB News was no longer a neutral platform, another said: "There are two opposing opinions in that clip. I don’t really see how this footage could be any more neutral."