England fans boo players taking the knee, again 1 week ago

England fans boo players taking the knee, again

Thoroughly depressing

England players were booed by their own fans once again while taking the knee before kick-off in their game against Romania on Sunday afternoon.

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The anti-racism gesture was greeted by an audible round of boos ahead of their first Euro 2020 warm up game against Austria on Wednesday, prompting discussion around whether the players would continue to take the knee throughout the tournament.

Manager Gareth Southgate then came out and confirmed the players were "determined more than ever" to take the knee.

"We feel, more than ever, determined to take the knee during this tournament. We accept there might be an adverse reaction, and we're just going to ignore that and move forward," he said.

Ahead of the Romania game, Southgate addressed the issue again, saying: "We're very clear on our stand - we're very clear that we're totally with the players. We're united as a staff and playing group."

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While there was very audible booing from a sizeable portion of the crowd at the Riverside in Middlesbrough, there was also a notable effort to drown out the boos with applause.

This lamentable episode is a stark reminder that the simple act of taking a knee for five seconds to protest against racism and inequality can be incredibly divisive in 2021.

We have a long way to go.

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