Euro 2020: Gareth Southgate fires up ambitious England
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Piers Morgan, 56, shared his views on the reaction of some England fans when the football team took the knee before Wednesday’s friendly against Austria. In a series of tweets, the former Good Morning Britain host blasted those who took part in the jeering “morons” and “disrespectful” and made it clear that the gesture was not a political move.
If you still want to boo England players who take the knee after watching this, then you’re an absolute moron
England players taking the knee stemmed from American Football quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began the silent protest against racism and police brutality in the US.
Following Wednesday’s game, team captain Gareth Southgate condemned the booing and said that the players are “determined more than ever” to take a knee in the tournament and committed to supporting their team mates.
“We accept that there might be an adverse reaction but we’re going to ignore that and move forward,” he added.
“I think those people should put themselves in the shoes of those young players and how they must feel.”
It comes after sections of the 8,000-strong crowd at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium booed loudly as both teams performed the anti-discrimination gesture on the pitch before kick-off.
The taunting was eventually drowned out by applause, but as England return to Middlesbrough on Sunday for their second pre-tournament friendly against Romania, there are concerns that there will be a repeat.
Following a press conference where Southgate addressed the reaction and said English fans booing their own team “is a very strange response in my mind”, Piers shared his admiration for his words and blasted those who took part.
“Very well said, Mr Southgate. This is strong leadership,” he penned.
“If you still want to boo England players who take the knee after watching this, then you’re an absolute moron.”
While there were mixed responses to the statement, one replied to Piers and suggested the mockery happened because taking a knee is associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, which some consider a political movement.
“But Mr Morgan the players can’t wear poppies because it’s political and isn’t BLM political,” they said.
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“I have no problem with trying to eradicate racism in football but FIFA chooses.”
Having read through the comment, Piers then explained how and why it was unacceptable.
“Players can and do wear poppies,” he retorted.
“Taking the knee is not supporting a political movement, it is a very brief moment of protest against racial inequality and injustice.
“If you don’t agree with it, at least don’t boo.”
Piers added: “That is disrespectful to England’s black players.”
Many agreed with him, saying that racial equality is a social issue not a political one.
England return to Teesside on Sunday for their final warm-up game against Romania.
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