Why the English Kneel Before the Match?

Taking the knee is a protest against racism and discrimination. It started as a movement in the United States by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand during the national anthem in 2016, but it soon spread across sports and the world. Initially, only Premier League teams participated in the gesture. However, the practice became commonplace in 2020 after the death of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by a white police officer. The gesture has since become synonymous with the Black Lives Matter movement.

After the murder of George Floyd, some people took the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. But others objected to the political nature of the gesture, arguing that it violated FIFA kit regulations that prohibit slogans. Regardless of the arguments, some fans did boo or whistle at England players when they took the knee before games. In response, the league decided to implement a ban on taking the knee before fixtures.

Despite these limitations, many English clubs and teams have taken the knee before international matches. England footballers will take the knee during World Cup matches in Qatar when they compete in the 2022 season. Several other nations are expected to join them.

Before the Euro 2020 competition, England players announced their intention to participate in a kneeling gesture. Some fans have booed or whistled, but the England players remained adamant about their decision to kneel. They hoped that their action would raise awareness about racial inequality and discrimination. During the match against Croatia, some fans booed and jeered the England players.

England’s manager, Gareth Southgate, said that taking the knee was part of England’s history and a way to highlight the importance of racial equality. He was one of the first football managers to support the move. Regardless of the gesture, England players asked supporters to come out to support them.

The players reportedly knelt for two or three seconds before the kickoff. While some opponents disagreed with the gesture, the majority of supporters supported it. According to a YouGov poll, 54% of supporters in England backed the move.

As a result of the protest, the league has imposed a kneeling restriction on Premier League players. However, this restriction is only in effect during major events in the 2022-23 season.

The Premier League will use opportunities to take the knee to promote the message that racism and discrimination do not have a place in football. Although the armband is not yet officially sanctioned by FIFA, the armband is part of a larger initiative to raise awareness of racial inequalities. A number of players, including Harry Kane and Megan Rapinoe, chose to participate in the campaign.

Following the murder of George Floyd, football teams from around the world took the knee before matches to demonstrate their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. England will also be involved in the OneLove initiative, which is a worldwide campaign for racial equality and anti-racism.


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