Southgate questions fans who booed players taking a knee
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Piers Morgan was less than impressed following yesterday’s friendly game between the England and Austria national football teams. His rant came after England landed a 1-0 lead in the Euro 2020 warm-up.
Disgusting to hear so many supposed England fans loudly boo a team with many black players for taking the knee to protest racial inequality.
Ahead of the match kicking off, players from the English national team took the knee – referencing the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd in May 2020.
The subtle gesture, that has since become a common sight at football matches, was instantly met by boos from some, before the rest of the fans clapped loudly to stand in solidarity with the players.
Shortly after the match, England manager Gareth Southgate described the reaction as “a criticism of” their black players.
ITV’s Sam Matterface described the incident as a “mixed reaction”.
Now, former Good Morning Britain anchor Piers Morgan, 56, has taken to social media to share his thoughts.
In view of his 7.9 million Twitter followers, Piers furiously penned: “Disgusting to hear so many supposed England fans loudly boo a team with many black players for taking the knee to protest racial inequality.”
He went on to say: “Then, loudly cheer one of those black players when he scored.
“Next time these idiots boo, the players should walk off.”
Piers’ fans soon flocked to the comment section to share their views with the dad-of-four, with one saying: “Absolutely agree! Fans should be warned on entering the stadium that booing ‘taking the knee’ is seen as racist!”
While a second added: “Perfect example of the mindset in this country. Putting people down for standing up for themselves and asking for equality. But as soon as you benefit personally from those people you cheer.”
“I don’t always agree with you, but yes definitely they should. Football is no longer a game it’s a money-spinner. The black players are only good when they score, but only a black person who they don’t respect,” said a third.
Before a fourth tweeted: “Perhaps the players want to continue taking the knee in support of their fellow teammates & peers, the people that matter to them. What harm is that doing. Don’t understand why people boo that. It’s just weird to me.”
Following the booing, Gareth stood with his team and explained that taking the knee should not be seen as a political message.
During a press conference, he said: “I did hear it, 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.
“I think we have got a situation where some people seem to think it’s a political stand that they don’t agree with, 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.”
He added: “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.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal left-back Bukayo Saka, who landed the victory with his first international goal, said: “I don’t understand why they did it, I heard some boos and I heard some claps.
“But you’ll have to ask the fans that were booing to understand why they did it.”
England are set to play Romania in another warm-up game on Sunday and have six players on stand by, should Trent Alexander-Arnold be unfit to play after sustaining a thigh injury.
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