Scotland WILL kneel at Wembley: Scottish players REVERSE decision to stand before kick-off against England and will take the knee ‘as a symbol of solidarity’ with their opponents as Boris urges fans NOT to boo the BLM act
Scotland have reversed their decision and will take the knee with England’s players in a show of solidarity at Wembley next week.
The Scotland team had confirmed only a day ago that they would stand against racism rather than take the knee, but have now made a U-turn.
Scotland boss Steve Clarke held discussions with his players this week about reversing their decision taken in March to no longer take the knee after England fans booed the national team when they made the gesture before their Euro 2020 warm-up matches.
A statement released by the SFA on Thursday said the Scotland team would continue to stand while captain Andy Robertson added: ‘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.’
Southampton striker Che Adams, who recently switched his international allegiance, is the only BAME member of the Scotland squad for Euro 2020.
Their sudden change of stance from Scotland’s players comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged supporters to stop booing the Black Live Matters act.
Asked to give a categorical answer on whether Mr Johnson supported the England team taking a knee, the premier’s official spokesman said: ‘Yes. The Prime Minister respects the rights of all people to peacefully protest and make their feeling known about injustices.
‘I think the Prime Minister has spoken before about his desire for everybody to get behind the national team and as I said, the PM would like to see everyone getting behind the team to cheer them on, not boo.’
England manager Gareth Southgate has stressed they remain united in their desire to keep taking a knee and admitted the booing felt like ‘criticism of his players’.
‘It’s not something on behalf of our black players I wanted to hear because it feels as though it’s a criticism of them and insisted they were not making a political gesture,’ Southgate said.
‘I think we have got a situation where some people seem to think it’s a political stand that they don’t agree with,’ he said.
‘That’s not the reason the players are doing it. We’re supporting each other. I was pleased that was drowned out by the majority of the crowd.
‘We can’t deny the fact that it happened. I think the most important thing for our players to know is all their teammates and all the staff are very supportive.
‘I think the majority of people understand it. I think some people aren’t quite understanding the message. I suppose we’re seeing that across a number of football grounds at the moment.’
Taking the knee before games has seen a mixed response since fans have been allowed back into stadiums while some clubs decided to stop making the gesture before games.
Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha became the first Premier League player to stop kneeling, citing that it had ‘lost all meaning’ and was ‘degrading’ as he opted to ‘stand against racism’ instead.
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