England head coach Gareth Southgate has said, ahead of the game against San Marino in World Cup 2022 qualifying it will be up to the players to decide whether to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“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 has the utmost respect for everyone’s opinion on this matter and believes the situation can be influenced. “I have heard Wilfried Zaha’s words on the subject and have been very sympathetic to his view that simply taking a knee is not enough,” he continued.
“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.”