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Gareth Southgate Confirms England Will Continue To Take A Knee Before Games

Josh Lawless

| Last updated 

Gareth Southgate Confirms England Will Continue To Take A Knee Before Games

Gareth Southgate has confirmed England players will continue to take the knee throughout Euro 2020 and will not be affected if their stance is met by further boos.

On Wednesday, when the players took the knee at the start of the friendly fixture against Austria, a section of fans inside the Riverside Stadium jeered.

The boos were then drowned out by applause but naturally it became a huge talking point that Southgate addressed post-match as he condemned the supporters for misunderstanding the message.

And in a press conference ahead of Sunday's Euros warm-up game against Romania, Southgate has doubled down on his comments - revealing that his team will keep on taking the knee following a team meeting where the matter was discussed on Friday.

Asking fans to try and empathise with the players, he stated that the squad will ignore any "adverse reaction" that follows.

"We are collectively really disappointed that it happened," Southgate said in his presser, as per Sky Sports.

"You have to put yourself in the shoes of an England player about to represent his country and because we are all trying to support the move for equality, the move for supporting our team-mates... some of the experiences they have been through in their lives.

"Some people decide to boo. I think those people should put themselves in the shoes of those young players and how that must feel.

"If that was their children, if they are old enough to have children, how would they feel about their kids being in that sort of situation.

"Most important thing for our players is to know we are totally united on it, we are totally committed to supporting each other, supporting the team. We feel more than ever determined to take the knee through this tournament.

"We accept that there might be an adverse reaction and we are just going to ignore that and move forward. The players are sick of talking about the consequences of should they, shouldn't they. They have had enough really."

The taking the knee gesture has been common practice in English football since the end of the 2019/20 campaign following the death of George Floyd in the United States.

Image: PA
Image: PA

The boos on Wednesday overshadowed took the gloss off the national team finally being able to have fans cheering them on and left Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips "confused" and "disappointed" as he watched.

"I was just happy the boos got cancelled out by the fans cheering in the end. I don't think it is a great situation especially for us as players," Phillips added.

"The team spoke about it together and we come up with the conclusion that regardless of what goes on around we are still going to participate in the kneeling and I think that is a great idea."

Topics: Black Lives Matter, Euro 2020, England, Gareth Southgate

Josh Lawless
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