Rio Ferdinand slams 'ignorant' England fans booing players taking the knee
"These fans, these ignorant people going to these games, they haven't got a clue"
Rio Ferdinand has come out to condemn the groups of England fans that continue to boo players taking the knee. We are now just days away from Euro 2020 and not only are these 'fans' letting the team down but they are essentially taking opposition to a movement that simply says: racism is not acceptable.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, FIVE, the former Manchester United player and England international wanted to reiterate that taking the knee is not a political stance but one of equality and anti-racism; a section of detractors have taken opposition to the on-pitch statement arguing that it is promoting Black Lives Matter as a political group and even Marxism, in some cases.
The 42-year-old BT Sport pundit went on to clarify that the "stance is about racism" and - as if needed spelling out any clearer - that there is "no valid reason for booing." However these fans try to dress it up with thinly-veiled excuses, booing the gesture is fundamentally going against calls for equality and suggests latent if not outright racism, no matter what defence they want to use.
He went on to say: "These fans, these ignorant people going to these games, they haven't got a clue. They don't know what the players are kneeling for. It's not a political stance".
He qualified that "All these people saying, 'BLM is a political movement... [the knee] is nothing to do with it. So take that out of your mind".
He isn't the only one, of course, to come out in an attempt to set the terribly misguided straight: both Marcus Rashford and Gareth Southgate have said they are more determined than ever to take the knee, as they believe it is "the right thing" to do.
Ferdinand's former colleague and England international, Gary Lineker, also summed up things pretty succinctly.
If you boo @England players for taking the knee, you’re part of the reason why players are taking the knee.
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) June 6, 2021
Not only do we have to be behind these boys for this major tournament but we've all got to be behind kicking racism out of football and all aspects of society.