Marcos Alonso: Chelsea defender says taking a knee before matches is ‘losing a bit of strength’

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Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso has stopped taking a knee before matches this term  (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso has stopped taking a knee before matches this term (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso has explained his decision to stop taking a knee ahead of matches this season, feeling the anti-racism gesture is “losing a bit of strength”.

Premier League players from all 20 clubs have continued to take a knee before games during the 2021/22 campaign as a symbol of unity against racism and discrimination, while the England national team also continue to collectively perform the gesture.

However, those to have stopped doing so include Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha, who stated in March that he believed taking a knee was “degrading” and had lost its meaning.

Newly-promoted Brentford’s players have resumed the gesture this season after initially stopping in February, but striker Ivan Toney continues to stand before games in his own personal statement, having previously said that players were being "used as puppets".

Alonso now prefers to show his opposition to racism and discrimination by standing before kick-off and pointing to the ‘No Room For Racism’ badge that all top-flight players and officials have worn on their sleeves since last season.

Asked about his stance after Chelsea’s 3-0 London derby win over Tottenham on Sunday, Alonso said: "I am fully against racism and I'm against every type of discrimination, and I just prefer to put my finger to the badge where it says no to racism, like they do in some other sports and football in other countries.”

He added: "I prefer to do it this way and, of course, to say very clearly that I am against racism and I respect everybody.

"I think it's losing a bit of strength the other way, so I just prefer to do it this way.”

Alonso says he has not yet discussed his alternative approach with his Chelsea team-mates, but is happy to do so.

“We haven’t talked about it,” he said. “We are in the changing room and we are like a family. I have a very good relationship with everyone. I love everyone and, up to now, we haven’t talked about it.

“I don’t think there is a need to but, of course, if I have to speak to anyone, I will say the same that I just told you and I don’t think there will be any problems. For now, I prefer to point to the sleeve and that’s what I will do.”

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