soccer

Fans booing players taking a knee shows racism still a problem: Henderson

57 Comments

England midfielder Jordan Henderson said fans who booed players for taking a knee before matches proved racism is still an issue and that the team will continue taking a stand against it during the upcoming European Championship.

There were jeers from a small section of spectators at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough when players took the knee before England's friendly wins over Austria and Romania last weekend.

"It shows that if there are still people booing because we're standing together against racism, then there still is a problem and we've still got to fight it and stand together," Henderson said before Sunday's opener against Croatia.

"It shows even more that we have to keep going, keep fighting it. From our side, it's about being together and doing what we think is right."

In an open letter to fans on Wednesday, coach Gareth Southgate said his team will not "just stick to football" during the Euros and that it was his responsibility to put debates such as racial awareness in the spotlight.

Henderson said the Three Lions are determined to lead the fight against racism but their focus was on playing football.

"Of course, everyone knows we stand together and you'll see that in taking the knee, but we want to get on with the football and concentrate on that," he said.

England, semi-finalists at the 2018 World Cup, face Scotland on June 18 and the Czech Republic four days later after playing Croatia, with all games being held at Wembley.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

57 Comments
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No, this means many fans don't want political messages and causes thrown in their faces at a game. They're their to get away from all that. They want to separate sports from politics.

6 ( +21 / -15 )

there

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

Dont care bout your beliefs, just play the sport that your being generously paid for while millions live in squalor.

5 ( +18 / -13 )

The majority of fans support the action by the players.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Don’t take a knee. It’s all BS. Facts show blacks are prone to being more racist and violent. FACTS.

-1 ( +15 / -16 )

Fans come to enjoy and cheer on England, to appreciate the beautiful game. Not attend a political protest, or some form of activist agenda.

It is ugly and unnecessary,

There is a clear platform to tackle/address racism....

https://www.kickitout.org/

Keep politics out of football, and football out of politics, or face the consequences.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

Good for them, and boo to the sour pusses who act so hateful towards professional athletes using their stage to highlight social injustices.

I guarantee, had this been a story about some athlete publicly showing protest against Japan or its policies, the same people here criticizing these soccer players, would then flip flop and eagerly support the athlete against Japan.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

Critics of players taking the knee like to assume that the fans doing the booing are doing it solely because as a principle they don’t like politics intruding into the game. How can those critics be so sure? Maybe the boos are coming because the people doing it are racist ignoramuses who just don’t like black players. There’s enough idiots online harassing players because of their racial background as evidence of that.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

No, this means many fans don't want political messages and causes thrown in their faces at a game

These are the same fans who boo other countries national anthems and chant about no surrender to the IRA and winning WW2.

If only there was a word for an anti-anti-racist.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Taking the Knee, has become publicly associated with BLM.

BLM, has adopted a political agenda, lunching a political action committee, supporting an aim to refund the police.

If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. All right? And I could be speaking figuratively. I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation,” Hawk Newsome BLM

Barely any attempt has been adopted to actually engage with the fans that are booing, or airing there views.

Just Southgate and members of the national squad barking racist in attempt to cancel or shut them down.

The boos are become more frequent and louder.

The broadcast political media are bringing focus not the the act of fighting racism, but pointing to the significance of taking the knee political activism.

Undermining the Kick it Out platform.

Many of the fans pay to escape there daily lives and revel in the magic of Football.

Not to be given a lecture on social injustice.

To add insult to injury, they have to pay for self righteous lecturing.

It all beings with a genuine cause, sooner or later the message politically creeps.

The fans quite rightly thinks, what am I doing here paying for this and being called a racist.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Respect to the players taking the knee and protesting the deaths of black people in race hate crimes, often by police.

Those who boo are not real fans. They are losers, and some I guess are white supremacists. The irony is they cheer wildly when black or non-white players score goals for their team, but attack them when they take a knee for a few seconds.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Too many black players get really nasty messages on their social networks.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

If one does not make any attempt to find out why a growing number of fans are showing contempt for taking the knee.

Yet appreciate the expertise skill, the building blocks to becoming professional footballer regardless of ethnicity/race cheering on wildly, maybe that is a clue, the reason to ask.

Instead of making wild assumptions and guesses.

(Sorry if my spelling is wonky, I don't have allot of time to thoroughly check or read back)

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Sports, please. I don't buy a ticket to attend an SJW protest.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Sports, please. I don't buy a ticket to attend an SJW protest.

That's too bad. The athletes have figured out the fans need them more than the other way around, so I guess sports are ruined for you. Well, you can go back and watch old matches I guess.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

I thought it was funny he said they're standing against racism when really they're kneeling, ironic.

Anyway, football had the Kick It Out campaign for years and nobody complained. They're booing the anti-Semitic Marxist queer theorists who run Black Lives Matter. If they just did something else like join arms on the pitch or something it'd be fine. One of the founders bailed after buying a few houses with the millions of dollars donated so you'd think people would be more suspicious of them but no the circus goes on it seems: https://youtu.be/pLbRZXGqBYY

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Overpaid Prima donnas deflecting their own privilege. Calling fans racist is just lazy

2 ( +11 / -9 )

So much time, effort, thought has be devoted to kick it out campaign.

A single aim to kick all forms of racism out of football .

The slogan, rallying cry everywhere. Spread across shirts on hoardings etc etc..

Taking the knee is a political statement, not totally focused on racism, however once focused on the murder of a George Floyd has morphed into political activism.

All political activism, of any kind, has be kept out of sport.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Ok lets start the ball rolling....Here is one opinion from a fan that admits to booing.

"Booing is a way football fans can communicate dissatisfaction," says Andrew, a football fan in his 40s who was at both England games this week - and joined in the booing when players took the knee.

Andrew, who is based in Lincoln, tells Radio 1 Newsbeat he booed to show his objection to what he sees as "an identity politics agenda that focuses on black people and skin colour, when as far as I am concerned we are all England fans regardless of colour".

"Some seem to genuinely believe booing is an act of racism - I reject that," he adds.

England taking the knee: Why some fans say they are booing players?

https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-57382945

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Andrew, who is based in Lincoln, tells Radio 1 Newsbeat he booed to show his objection to what he sees as "an identity politics agenda that focuses on black people and skin colour, when as far as I am concerned we are all England fans regardless of colour".

Not someone who experiences racism on a daily basis including getting nasty comments on social media.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

oldman_13Today  08:51 am JST

Good for them, and boo to the sour pusses who act so hateful towards professional athletes using their stage to highlight social injustices.

I guarantee, had this been a story about some athlete publicly showing protest against Japan or its policies, the same people here criticizing these soccer players, would then flip flop and eagerly support the athlete against Japan

Want to 'take the politics' out of the game? Really, do ya? Then start recognizing that these athletes aren't there just for your pleasure on the field. They are people just like you, stop treating them like trash off the field.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Sick of politics being introduced into sports. I just want to watch a game and forget about life and politics and so on.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Andrew, from Lincoln, is probably unaware of the racial abuse black players experience on social media.

Fair point

I am of the opinion that, taking the knee, is a political gesture, more window dressing.

Support kick it out, wear the shirt, whilst taking the knee. so al least the message doesn't become mired and muddled in a activist agenda.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I am of the opinion that, taking the knee, is a political gesture, more window dressing.

It's only part of a greater action by the clubs and players. One minute ain't very long. Just like when they have a one minute silence to honour someone. Should they stop that too?

If fans and others end their racism then these actions will no longer be needed.

Because of the pandemic with fans excluded from the games, there has been no racism at the game. But with returning fans some racism will return too.

These days it's the nasty online stuff that is so hurtful to those getting it.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

England midfielder Jordan Henderson said fans who booed players for taking a knee before matches proved racism is still an issue 

They're not booing because of racism, mate, they're booing because they don't want politics rammed down their throats after paying to watch afootball match.

Virtue signal fail.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Posters booing players taking a knee shows racism still a problem

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Wakarimasen

Overpaid Prima donnas deflecting their own privilege. Calling fans racist is just lazy

Like, when racist fans make monkey noises or throw bananas at players because they dominate the sport and make the fans favorite players look like amateurs. Then the league does nothing to protect them.

Sick of politics being introduced into sports. I just want to watch a game and forget about life and politics and so on.

The same people on here whining about athletes using their right express themselves also had no problem when the former one-term president did the exact same thing during briefing about his failed management of a pandemic.

He also attempted to do by including personal letters and signatures on stimulus checks.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

@Joe Unc

Don’t take a knee. It’s all BS. Facts show blacks are prone to being more racist and violent. FACTS.

What facts are those? Several continents full of indigenous people would disagree with you. They would mention Europeans!

But, please share!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I have always acquainted the traditional one minutes silence to remembrance of the fallen in war.

Silence to reflect the deep sorrow from the loss. The silence representing an empty space to ponder that loss.

Is there a comparison between remembrance, and the act of taking the knee, I am not convinced there is. However I respect those that insist a link between to two.

The players quite rightly must be left to decide for themselves.

As much as we all have the freedom to politely debate the need to do so.

And their motivation to do so, political or otherwise.

Zichi, my feelings are, whether in sport or daily life there is always a human need to divide, to differentiate, to judge, leading to discrimination.

Black/white are clearly defined as opposites, uncompromising as night and day and here toxicity racism flourishes unabated.

I am suggesting to let Kick it Out take centre stage, it changes minds.  

It takes more than a minute, the time it takes to drop that knee

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@Wakarimasen

Overpaid Prima donnas deflecting their own privilege. Calling fans racist is just lazy

England players being booed for taking a knee considered 'a racist act' by officials, according to senior football administrator

https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11095/12326827/england-players-being-booed-for-taking-a-knee-has-sinister-undertones-says-kick-it-outs-tony-burnett

A senior football administrator has told** Sky Sports News that officials consider the booing of England's players taking a knee as "a racist act", and fans who do so can no longer hide behind the excuse that they are protesting against some political aspects of the Black Lives Matter movement.**

1 ( +5 / -4 )

When do we normally kneel to someone? God. Gods. Royalty. Proposal of marriage to show a willingness to serve, protect etc. Every person who isn't the same colour as me is my peer, my equal. To kneel to a person means to regard them as higher than yourself in some way. This, surely, is NOT equality. I kneel to no-one equal to me. If that is racist, then the word racist and its definition has certainly been changed dramatically.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@itsonlyrocknroll

I am suggesting to let Kick it Out take centre stage, it changes minds. 

Ironically, Tony Burnett supports the gesture of "taking a knee", but I get your point

Kick It Out chief executive Tony Burnett issues a rallying call to supporters to 'drown out the idiots' until the situation becomes a non-issue; England boss Gareth Southgate's pleas to respect the gesture were once again ignored by a small section of crowd at Romania game on Sunday

He also thinks there is racism involved.

England players being booed for taking a knee has 'sinister undertones', says Kick It Out's Tony Burnett

0 ( +4 / -4 )

When do we normally kneel to someone? God. Gods. Royalty. Proposal of marriage to show a willingness to serve, protect etc. Every person who isn't the same colour as me is my peer, my equal. To kneel to a person means to regard them as higher than yourself in some way. This, surely, is NOT equality. I kneel to no-one equal to me. If that is racist, then the word racist and its definition has certainly been changed dramatically.

Perhaps you are a trifle confused about the simple symbolism of players kneeling that the majority of fans apparently understand and support? You ought to be much more excised over the dog whistles and coded comments from critics who nevertheless wear their right-wing prejudices transparently on their sleeve.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Numan, I think this illustrates the need for Kick it Out taking the leading role.

One might agree or disagree with Tony Burnett sentiment, or approach, however that is a matter of opinion.

The leadership must come from Kick it Out.

Social Media, also has a habit to amplifying any political agenda ten fold.

I won't entertain any wish to be part of social media crazy circus.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Perhaps you are a trifle confused about the simple symbolism of players kneeling that the majority of fans apparently understand and support? You ought to be much more excised over the dog whistles and coded comments from critics who nevertheless wear their right-wing prejudices transparently on their sleeve.

"Exercised", of course, makes much more sense!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I do not find kneeling simple, ever. I do it for something or someone I revere or love. Kneeling to a sweeping group of people who I neither know nor revere will not have me bowing to them. Hand shaking, hugging, saluting, yes I will do these things. Requiring or demanding these things though teaches nothing but the ability to obligate and get what you demand.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Clyde Best of wolves (or may have been WHU), was the first black man to play in England's top flight - back in the late 60's and early 70's. His every touch of the ball was chorused by monkey grunts. And 50 or 60 years later people are booing against people standing up against racism.

Still quite a way to go haven't we?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

There is little or nothing more confusing or simplistic than attempting to compare symbolism, expressing the invisible or intangible, with the Fans wish to express there discontent through a to booing.

Then attempting to shout down any debate to question a necessity to take the knee, by associating the two with “dog whistles” and “right wing political agenda”.

To make spurious, unsubstantiated, shouty shouty, how dare you very much, oh you racist, at Fans who question the need to take the knee, is not behavior of any modern democracy.

Rockos Frediman, relax, nurse is on her way.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The one minute it takes for the kneeling shouldn't really be of concern to the fans. It's what the clubs, management and players want. To highlight racism in the sport and the greater racism in society. This happening across Europe and in other sports too. It won't be ending anytime soon.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@SimondB

Clyde Best of wolves (or may have been WHU), was the first black man to play in England's top flight - back in the late 60's and early 70's. His every touch of the ball was chorused by monkey grunts. And 50 or 60 years later people are booing against people standing up against racism.

Still quite a way to go haven't we?

No where because the monkey grunts and banana peels happens all the time in football. Football, NASCAR and tennis fans make up a large majority fans that display racism towards POC.

Female European volley team players not the fans have been caught in scandals making racist remarks and gestures at asian teams, too. It is not just one sport.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

There must be open and honest debate here, I am not having a pop, nothing personal.

I don't know Adam from Eve on this site.

This subject of dropping that knee has to fully taken apart without fear or favor.

There is to much of shut up you racist,

"Boo", oh you racist,

Question any political agenda, think about that, racist!

You must be able to visualize damage, the accusation of "racism" is in a perpetual state of become meaningless.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There is a problem in European culture. Not individuals but the culture. They have an issue with other races because their own superiority complex. Like someone mentioned earlier:

That also means countries like US, Canada, Israel, Apartheid South Africa, New Zealand, definitely Australia, and quite a few South Americans countries who claim connections to Europe.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@Rockos Frediman

Blacks are bullets for white genocide.

There is a problem in European culture. Not individuals but the culture. They have an issue with other races because their own superiority complex. Like someone mentioned earlier:

For the last 600, only groups from Europe have gone on campaigns of global genocide and enslavement.

Sports are one of the few places where "the playing field" tends to be more equal. War, Economics, Business, Academics, and etc are not so much.

Sports allow people from different walks of life and cultures to show their gifts and shine around people who sometimes inherently believe they are culturally superior because of their race, so the racists in those groups lash out.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Why are they on one knee anyway? Why not just stand in silence for a minute?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Why are they on one knee anyway? Why not just stand in silence for a minute?

It all started back in 2016 when 49ers player Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality in America. Players from his team, and others, gradually joined him, and the movement caught on. The idea was that they won’t salute a flag of a country that allows racism to continue.

That is what the uninformed and the racists do not know or refuse to acknowledge depending on the person. It has nothing to do with claiming that POC are more important or hate non POC.

They want equality not revenge.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Female European volley team players not the fans have been caught in scandals making racist remarks and gestures at asian teams, too. It is not just one sport.

@Numan....I found the incident you are referring to earlier.

European volleyball player banned over ‘slanty Asian eyes’ gesture

https://www.msn.com/en-my/news/world/european-volleyball-player-banned-over-slanty-asian-eyes-gesture/ar-AAKT0ap

Apparently, it was not the first time. They hold team was caught doing it in 2018.

Serbian Women’s Volleyball Team Celebrates Win With Offensive Photo

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/serbian-womens-volleyball-team-racist-offensive-photo-beat-japan_n_592edb97e4b0e09b11ec9936

I agree this is a European cultural problem!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It's also an Asian culture problem too like S. Korea playing Japan, for instance.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Numan, I am suggesting that many of the fans are being labelled "racists", before being afforded the opportunity to defend or answer such an accusation.

To boo, as that knee hits the floor in effect, to show disagreement, is "racist".

Put such a defamatory statement in writing is libelous, to make such a statement verbally in public is slander.

Think about that.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

StuckintheMiddle!Today  05:08 pm JST

I agree this is a European cultural problem!

Serbia =/= Europe. Your generalisation attempts condemn a whole continent.... exactly the thing "anti-racists" rally against. Who's side are you on?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Has it never occurred to Kick it Out Chief Executive Tony Burnett, drop the knee brigade,

Having consistently failed to engage with the fans will ultimately decide the future of the game.

And to suggest just drowning them out, could have consequences?

At least financially.

The minority of fans booing in the stadium, cannot be quantified against the fans with a similar mindset at home, viewing on line.

Remember, politically, it is the undecided, that silent voter, that within a single minute make a decision where that pencil lands.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nike and BLM encourage athletes to take a knee. Both are supported by the CCP.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

"Football fans across Europe tend to support players taking the knee"

https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/PKrEa/3/

England

54% support

39% oppose

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Real men / women take a knee against racism !!..

Those who are against are a sample of how the world is sunk in ignorance, injustice and racism and they delight in those things.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I fully agree and support everyone in England taking a knee, but completely disagree with having Romanians taking one. After all, Romania (and many other countries) were never involved in slave trade like the Imperial Britain and the US. So feeling pressured into a gesture like that is completely unfair. If black lives matter so much in the UK, how about paying back some trillions of pounds as reparations for all the damage caused and the lives taken in all of their colonies?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Is it fair or accurate to call such booing racist? Maybe they’re booing because they think taking a knee is disrespectful.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Happy Day

Nike and BLM encourage athletes to take a knee. Both are supported by the CCP.

LOL! So was trump! You had no problem with that!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

StuckintheMiddle!June 10  05:01 pm JST

Why are they on one knee anyway? Why not just stand in silence for a minute?

It all started back in 2016 when 49ers player Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality in America. Players from his team, and others, gradually joined him, and the movement caught on. The idea was that they won’t salute a flag of a country that allows racism to continue.

That is what the uninformed and the racists do not know or refuse to acknowledge depending on the person. It has nothing to do with claiming that POC are more important or hate non POC.

They want equality not revenge.

The 'knee-benders' are saluting the flag but they are bowing their heads in mourning because America STILL not what it should be. And after 2016 it expanded to become a protest against the hateful violent racist policies of the fascist traitor Donald Jerk TrumpChump. More people joined Colin gradually because of that and he is now vindicated as a hero, a trooper. Note that the George Floyd protests of 2020 had whites as well as blacks participating. And the raising of the Confederate General and Christopher Columbus statues were done by blacks, hispanics, Native Americans and whites. And other ethnicities too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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