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Euro 2020

15th Jul 2021

The majority of English voters support footballers taking the knee

Charlie Herbert

Support for the gesture has increased in recent days

New polling data has shown that the majority of English football fans support players taking the knee before kick off in matches.

The data also showed that football fans’ support for the gesture had increased throughout the European Championships, when England players took the knee before every game.

The Opinium poll was conducted on July 8 and 9, just a few days before England lost to Italy in the final at Wembley. ThisĀ  was of course followed by Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho receiving horrific racist abuse online.

Despite the fact that many booed players taking the knee in the build-up to the tournament, and that several senior government ministers refused to condemn the booing, this data is encouraging in showing that these racists are in fact in the minority.

Of those asked, 56 percent of football fans supported England taking the knee, up from 50% before the tournament. Additionally, the percentage of those that oppose the gesture dropped from 37% to 32%.

Meanwhile, data from another polling company shows that a clear majority of football fans support the players’ right to take the knee, and football fans are in fact more supportive of the gesture than the general population.

An Ipsos Mori poll showed that 67% of football fans supported the players’ right to take the knee before kick off. This is a higher proportion than from the general public as a whole – 63% of the general public supported the players’ right to perform the gesture.

There is clearly a huge amount of work that needs to be done to stamp out the bigots and racists that still exist in football. But this data is a useful reminder during these distressing times that most people are understanding of taking the knee, and united against racism and discrimination.