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Cheers drown out boos as England take the knee at Wembley

June 13, 2021 21:17 IST
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Mason Mount

IMAGE: England's Mason Mount takes the knee before the match. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Cheers and applause quickly drowned out some boos as England players kneeled on Sunday in an anti-racism gesture at kick-off against Croatia in their Euro 2020 opener at Wembley.

England players were shocked by jeering at the gesture from a minority of fans in two friendlies prior to the tournament. Manager Gareth Southgate, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and leading football figures had appealed for a stop to that.

 

Euro fans

IMAGE: General view as Croatia fans watch the match. Photograph: Antonio Bronic/Reuters

Once again, there was some jeering from a small section as players briefly went down on one knee, but many others among the 25,000 crowd in a sun-kissed Wembley began applauding and cheering.

The gesture, borrowed from American NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and popularised by the Black Lives Matter movement last year, has generated off-field controversy around Europe in the build-up to the 24-nation Euros.

Critics view it as an unwanted politicization of sport and expression of sympathy with far-left politics.

But England players and other national teams also taking the knee say it is simply a show of solidarity against racial discrimination still prevalent in football and around the world.

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Source: REUTERS
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