Tyrone Mings calls out Priti Patel for calling taking knee 'gesture politics'
"We have our own set of beliefs"
Tyrone Mings has responded to Priti Patel's criticism of England players for continuing to take the knee by saying he and his teammates "have their own beliefs".
The Home Secretary became the first cabinet minister to openly speak out against Gareth Southgate's side for persisting with taking the knee, describing it as "gesture politics" during an interview given to GB News earlier this week.
"I just don't support people participating in that type of gesture politics," she said.
The Home Secretary Priti Patel has said those involved in taking the knee are participating in “gesture politics” and when asked if England fans had a right to boo she responded saying “that's a choice for them, quite frankly” pic.twitter.com/TCx4Jiuq1Q
— GB News (@GBNEWS) June 14, 2021
Mings started for England in their Euro 2020 opener against Croatia on Sunday, with all players taking the knee prior to kick-off, as promised by the FA. Facing the media on Tuesday afternoon, the defender fielded questions on a number of topics - one of which being Patel's comments.
"To the Home Secretary, I don't really have a direct message," Mings said, "We spoke, and she invited me onto her Zoom call once.
"She seemed so interested and engrossed in players' point-of-view, and what we could do more to tackle these sort of issues.
"But, at the same time, everybody's entitled to their own opinion and the Home Secretary is one of many many people that oppose us taking the knee, or refuse to defend it.
"We have our own set of beliefs, and what we think we can do to help or be players that can be influential and can stand up for what we believe in.
"And understandably when you have such strong beliefs, there will be opposition to that.
"We've spoken about it a lot. We've spoken about trying to educate, or trying to inform, the minority who refuse to acknowledge why we're taking the knee and want to boo it.
"But, at the same time, in Wembley there was a hugely positive reaction to us taking the knee as well, and I don't think that should be overshadowed by the minority that refuse to accept what the reasons are or don't agree with them."
The FA released a statement clarifying their reasons for taking the knee prior to Euro 2020 after a small minority of the crowd that watched the warm-up fixtures in Middlesbrough decided to boo. The statement also explained that they would continue to take the knee throughout the tournament.
Although there was some booing at Wembley on Sunday afternoon, it was swiftly drowned out by cheers of approval from the vast majority of those inside the stadium.
Scotland's players have opted not to take the knee throughout the tournament but have made an exception for the game against England this Friday, a decision for which they were praised by Nicola Sturgeon.
A tweet from Scotland's First Minister said:
"From kick-off at Wembley next Friday, @ScotlandNT and @EnglandFootball will be the fiercest of opponents - but before that, the players will unite in solidarity against racism. Good decision, Scotland - well done!"