Gareth Southgate says England squad are ‘totally united’ to continue kneeling at Euro 2020 | Football news

Gareth Southgate said England were “more determined than ever” to kneel down at Euro 2020 and players were “fed up” with talking about the consequences of their participation in the anti-racism move.

The England players were booed by some of the fans ahead of their friendly victory over Austria at Riverside Stadium on Wednesday.

Southgate held a meeting with a group of the squad on Friday, where they agreed to continue kneeling ahead of games.

The England manager is aware that there could still be an “adverse reaction” from the fans, despite their call to reconsider the impact of their reaction.

“We are collectively very disappointed that this has happened,” Southgate said ahead of England’s final warm-up game against Romania in Middlesbrough on Sunday.

England players were booed by some supporters when they knelt before playing against Austria

“You have to put yourself in the shoes of an English player who is about to represent his country and because we are all trying to support the movement for equality, the movement to support our teammates … some of the experiences they have had in their lives.

“Some people decide to boo. I think these people should put themselves in these young players’ shoes and how that should feel.

“If these were their children, if they were old enough to have children, how would they feel about their children being in this kind of situation.

“The most important thing for our players is to know that we are totally united on this, we are totally committed to supporting each other, to supporting the team. We feel more determined than ever to go down on the knee. down to earth through this tournament.

“We accept that there may be an adverse reaction and we’re just going to ignore it and move on. Players are tired of talking about the consequences of should they, should they not. They really do. enough.”

Southgate said the team will not continue to answer questions on the matter if the boos persist during this summer’s major tournament, with England set to open their campaign against Croatia on June 13 at Wembley.

Gareth Southgate (PA)
Gareth Southgate’s England are unbeaten since a 2-0 Nations League loss to Belgium in November 2020

“There are other things we have to spend our time on and the players want to spend their time,” he added.

“It’s not that they dismiss the importance of this. They know the power of their voice. They know they can make a difference.”

Phillips “confused and disappointed” to boo

Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who has not played in midweek, said he was “confused and disappointed” that some fans booed the taking of a knee – an act that took place during games since the last stages of the 2019-2020 season.

“I was just happy that the boos were quashed by the cheering fans at the end. I don’t think it’s a good situation, especially for us as players,” added the 25-year-old.

“The team talked about it together and we came to the conclusion that whatever is going on around us, we are always going to participate in the kneeling and I think that is a great idea.”

“Respect England’s black players – don’t boo them”

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Clinton Morrison urges England fans not to boo players who kneel before games in anti-racist move

Former Republic of Ireland striker Clinton Morrison said Sky Sports News

“We are trying to educate young children at this exact moment. [booing taking a knee] do not educate them. And this will happen throughout the Euro. England play at Wembley [and] there will be more boos.

“People who do it think it’s funny. It’s not funny, it’s not smart.

“As Gareth Southgate said, they [the England squad] will keep trying to educate people, keep trying to talk about it but not as much because England is obviously focused on trying to win the Euro [and] every time he goes to a press conference he doesn’t want to talk about it.

“But the fans aren’t smart. It’s good to have fans back in the stadium, but they don’t understand why the players are doing it. The players have come out a few times and explained why they are doing it. can players do more? “

“These are black players playing for their country, representing England. Support these black players. It’s not big and it’s not smart. Support the move they’re trying to make [get behind] and stop racism. Don’t go booing him …

“So if you want to keep booing, keep booing. But that doesn’t help these young black players.”

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