Gareth Southgate tells England fans that players kneeling is anti-racism, not ‘political stand’

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 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Gareth Southgate has stressed England players are making a stand against racism - and not a political message - after his side were booed for taking a knee before their Euro 2020 warm-up match with Austria.

England players, as has been the way in the Premier League this season, took the knee before Wednesday’s 1-0 win at the Riverside Stadium.

The gesture has been undertaken by players to show their support towards combating racism and establishing equality in society.

Some fans on Wednesday night at the Riverside, however, booed players taking the knee. They were eventually drowned out, though, by applause.

Southgate has given his support to his players and reiterated how in no way are his squad trying to make a political stand.

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

“I did hear it. It is not something on behalf of our black players that I wanted to hear, because it feels as though it is a criticism of them,” said Southgate.

“I think we have got a situation where some people seem to think it is a political stand that they don’t agree with. That is not the reason the players are doing it. We are supporting each other.

“So, I was pleased that was drowned out by the majority of the crowd, but we can’t deny the fact that it happened.

“I think the most important thing for our players to know is that all their team-mates, all the staff, are fully supportive.

“I think the majority of people understand it. I think some people aren’t quite understanding the message, and I suppose we are seeing that across a number of football grounds at the moment.”

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