England booed for taking the knee as Khan asks ‘how can you be a true fan?’

England were once again booed by a small section of the Wembley crowd for taking the knee before their Euro 2020 opener against Croatia.

Last week, the Three Lions were met with boos at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough as they took the knee before the friendlies against Austria and Romania.

AFP

The England squad will continue to take the knee in order to show unity against racism and discrimination

Gareth Southgate has insisted the gesture is not politically charged, instead claiming it is to reinforce the message that racism and discrimination will not be tolerated.

Boos could be heard at Wembley on Sunday before the game against Croatia, who decided to not take the knee, but the jeers were drowned out by cheers and support.

In an open letter to England fans in The Players’ Tribune, Southgate said he has ‘a responsibility to the wider community to use my voice, and so do the players.’

He said: “It’s their duty to continue to interact with the public on matters such as equality, inclusivity and racial injustice, while using the power of their voices to help put debates on the table, raise awareness and educate.”

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England players were also booed as they took the knee ahead of their pre-Euros friendly with Austria

Speaking to talkSPORT on the eve of the tournament, London Mayor Sadiq Khan pleaded with fans to show solidarity and support and to not boo the knee.

“What I would remind ourselves of is the vast, vast majority of fans support our team,” he said.

“It’s a small minority, a very small minority, who booed our team in the last two games but they were drowned out by the vast majority.

“I think the reality is there will always be a difference of opinion, that’s not a bad thing in a democracy as we are allowed to disagree, there is nothing wrong with that.

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Southgate is bemused as to why a person would racially abuse a footballer

“But actually, the tournament is now beginning, our team have chosen to take the knee. How can you be a true fan and boo your team? Whether you agree with it or not, they are taking the knee to show solidarity with those who suffer racism.

“Let’s applaud our team.”

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