The Football Association has called for unity before the start of England’s Euro 2020 campaign and urged supporters not to boo the team for taking the knee before their game against Croatia at Wembley. Southgate has revealed the negative effect that Booing has especially on England’s black players.
Anti Racism gestures have created a lot of ruckus with several people divided over its usage and meaning especially with England players taking the knee. Some are of the opinion that taking a knee before the match is a sign of the uphill battle that players and people face alike against racism on a daily basis. While some believe that over usage of the gesture has led to the possible dilution of the message and is more of a reflex and formality than anything.
A minority of supporters booed before friendlies against Austria and Romania in Middlesbrough, and the heated nature of the dispute moved the FA to appeal for the fans to come together. In a statement released ahead of England's Euro 2020 opener against Croatia, the FA asked fans and supporters alike to not boo the players taking the knee and instead to stand with their team as they collectively take the knee for the entirety of the tournament.
“As the team has reiterated many times, they will collectively take the knee ahead of their fixtures during the tournament. They are doing this as a mechanism of peacefully protesting against discrimination, injustice and inequality. This is personally important to the players and the values the team collectively represents.
"This gesture of unity and fighting against inequality can be traced back as far as the 18th century. It is not new, and English football has made it very clear that it does not view this as being aligned to a political organisation or ideology. There can be no doubt as to why the players are taking the knee and what it represents in a footballing context.
"We encourage those that oppose this action to reflect on the message you are sending to the players you are supporting. Please respect their wishes and remember that we should all be united in the fight to tackle discrimination. Together. They will do their best for you. Please do your best for them.”