England head coach Gareth Southgate has announced that it depends on the players to decide whether to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement as the team is going to play against San Marino in World Cup 2022 qualifying.
“I have discussed the subject with the team leaders and I have asked them to talk to the rest of the players as I think they will benefit from discussing the issue,” the coach told Sky Sports.
“This is part of how we educate ourselves on these issues. However, one thing is certain: we will be united on everything. If there is any doubt, I think we will take a knee.”
Southgate claims he has the utmost respect for everyone’s opinion on this matter and believes the situation can be influenced. He has heard Wilfried Zaha’s words on the subject and has been very sympathetic to his view that simply taking a knee is not enough.
“It’s a complicated situation. The debate about whether to take a knee, whether to get off the field, is actually peripheral. The main issues are racism and discrimination. That’s what needs to be discussed.”
“The protests have made people start talking about these topics. We have to tackle much deeper issues and also make symbolic gestures.”
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