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Scotland Players Decide Not To Take The Knee Against England Or Throughout Euro 2020

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Scotland Players Decide Not To Take The Knee Against England Or Throughout Euro 2020

Scotland have released a statement confirming that the players have decided not to take the knee at Euro 2020 and will instead 'take a stand' against racism.

Manager Steve Clarke had said earlier this week that he would discuss the matter with his players before their first Euros game. The announcement has now come that Scotland will not join England in taking a knee before their Group D game at Wembley on 18 June.

Clarke made his feelings clear in March when he said that he felt the anti-racism symbol, while initially powerful, had "now become a little diluted". And it seems his squad largely agrees.

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England manager Gareth Southgate was forced to defend his players continuing the gesture - designed as a show of tolerance and solidarity against racist abuse - after his side were booed by sections of their own fans in two warm-up games heading into Euro 2020.

In light of that, Clarke was asked if Scotland would join England in taking a knee, but responded that he would talk to his players first. It has now been confirmed that they will not.

A statement from the SFA read: "The Scotland Men's National Team will continue to take a stand against racism prior to kick-off for all UEFA Euro 2020 matches.

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"The squad, coaching staff and backroom members will stand up to racism ahead of the Group D matches against Czech Republic, England and Croatia.

Captain Andy Robertson added, per Mail Sport: "It is important we continue to tackle the issue of racism and raise awareness of the need to change people's mindsets but also their behaviours.

"Prior to our World Cup qualifiers in March we spoke as a group and felt that taking a stand was the best way for us to show solidarity and also to reinforce the need for meaningful change in society."

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The only BAME member of the Scotland squad is England-born Che Adams, who switched allegiance earlier this year.

In March, when asked about taking the knee pre-kick-off, Clarke had said: "Recent events and past events show that you have to keep changing people's mindsets about racism.

"I think the knee when it was first proposed and first taken was a really powerful symbol. It's maybe now become a little diluted.

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"There's been some high-profile cases recently, which show racism and the abuse is still there. It's not acceptable to anybody.

"And maybe just taking a stand as opposed to the knee will just waken everybody up to the fact that if we go to sleep it will never go away.

"We have to keep confronting it, pushing forward and making sure that in years to come racism of any form is not acceptable."

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All imagery: PA Images

Topics: Euro 2020, England, Scotland

Alex Reid
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