Gareth Southgate condemns fans who booed when players took the knee
"It's not something on behalf of our Black players that I wanted to hear"
Since last years protests in support of the BLM movement, sports teams worldwide have taken a knee as a sign of solidarity. There has been backlash through most sporting events, but organisers and managers are together in their beliefs.
Gareth Southgate has hit out at the section of fans who booed when players took the knee before their friendly on Wednesday night.pic.twitter.com/AmKzF5cw68
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) June 3, 2021
In Wednesday's friendly England v Austria Match, where England secured a win, players were met with an onslaught of booing as they took the knee. In the post-game interview with Sky Sports, manager Gareth Southgate expressed his frustration with the fans who booed during this moment.
"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."
Southgate touches on an issue that has vibrated through football fans this past year. Though the initial gesture was in response to the movement, it has now come to be a show of solidarity with Black players in the industry.
🗣"We do it for a reason."
Conor Coady & Jordan Pickford were disappointed in the England fans booing the taking of the knee pic.twitter.com/tpWWlhwrUn
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) June 3, 2021
The football industry is rife with racism. Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe, and Anthony Martial are just three to have openly spoken about their experiences of racism either in real life or on social media. Taking a knee is a way of showing support for those players and to appear as a unified front against the issue.
Though many people believe it to be a political stance, Southgate has reiterated that it is incorrect. "That is not why players are doing it. We're supporting each other."
Though the negativity is audible in the thirty-second clip, sounds of cheering and clapping can also be heard.
Though Southgate has repeated his opinions on the matter, he has also stated how players and staff are unified in this belief. Nonetheless, football fans have taken to social media to share their thoughts.
"I think fans are sick of players taking the knee; the point has been made now, so just get on with the game. By the way, all lives matter," writes one user.
Though keyboard warriors are prevalent on the topic, the views are not all negative. Kneeling before matches is still an issue for many fans, but it's one Southgate correctly not willing to budge on.