Fans are being urged to praise England players who take a knee.
To drown out any booing, fans are being urged to applaud England players when they take the knee before the team’s Euro 2020 opener against Croatia on Sunday.
Some at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough mocked the gesture before the friendly matches against Austria and Romania last week.
The players insist that the gesture is just to underline the message that racism and prejudice will not be accepted, despite the fact that some claim it has political connotations.
Fans are being urged to show their support for the team by anti-discrimination organization Kick It Out, the Football Supporters’ Association, and England fans organization Block 109.
“(Manager) Gareth Southgate and his England players have consistently said that kneeling is a symbol of the ongoing battle against racial inequality,” the statement continued. Jeering the players is a form of jeering the gesture itself.
“Once the players are in position to take the knee, Kick It Out and the FSA are encouraging fans to begin applause as soon as possible to show the players and the squad that we are all behind them as they begin their Euro 2020 campaign on Sunday.”
“Gareth Southgate and the England players have made their position absolutely clear – they are taking the knee as an anti-discrimination gesture, it is in no way tied to any political organization,” said Kick It Out chief executive Tony Burnett.
“All of us England supporters, including myself, want to see England win the Euros, therefore we’re encouraging people to drown out the booing with cheers and show the players that we’re rooting for them.
“For those fans who have booed or intend to boo, we would want you to consider how it affects the players – the same players who we want to lead England to victory in this tournament.
“The true issue we all want to address is football discrimination, and that is something we can and should all support. So let us rally behind the team, the players, and fight bigotry and bigotry in all forms.”
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