The fight against racism has always lived between controversy, whether it’s the politics behind it or the symbolic gestures made by real-life influencers to bring about change. Football decided to take on the social evil and eliminate it from its own sphere of existence.
Many leagues and teams decided to make a symbolic gesture and take a knee before their games to raise their voice against racism. There are people who believe taking a knee brings no actual change and is mere tokenism, including Crystal Palace forward Wilfred Zaha.
— Momentum 🌹 (@PeoplesMomentum) June 8, 2021
As Euro 2020 begins, such controversy was expected to surround the tournament as different people from different social background unite at the same place.
The Scotland national team gave an official statement regarding the symbolic gesture ahead of their first match of Euro 2020. Scotland coach Steve Clarke said that they would “stand up” to racism before kick-off instead, while also adding that the impact of the gesture had become “maybe a little bit diluted”.
The statement made the headlines and Clarke along with Scotland captain Andy Robertson later came up with a changed decision with respect to their match against England.
WHAT DID CLARKE SAY?
Scotland will host the Czech Republic on Monday, 14th June at Hampden Park and manager Steve Clarke announced that will continue to stand up to racism, while against England they would kneel down against ignorance.
“In light of divisive and inaccurate comments being perpetuated by individuals and groups, whose views we denounce in the strongest terms, we have reflected today as a group, We will continue to take a stand – together, as one – for our matches at Hampden Park. For our match at Wembley, we will stand against racism and kneel against ignorance,”
A message from Scotland Men's Head Coach Steve Clarke and captain Andy Robertson.https://t.co/xYisBbKH68
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) June 11, 2021
ANDY ROBERTSON SPEAKS UP
Liverpool star and Scotland’s captain Andy Robertson added on to Clarke’s statement and further clarified their “stand” on the matter and said they believe in meaningful actions.
“Taking the knee in this tournament matters as a symbol of solidarity. The Scotland team stands against racism but we will kneel against ignorance and in solidarity on June 18th. Our position was and remains that the focus must be on meaningful change to fight discrimination in football and wider society.”
“In Scotland, the football family has stood against racism all season. It was our collective view that the national team would do the same. Our stance is that everyone, players, fans, teams, clubs, federations, governing bodies and governments must do more. Meaningful action is needed if meaningful change is to occur.”
Andy Robertson says Scotland WILL take the knee at Wembley despite reports they wouldn’t. https://t.co/vmbU4p7Cmr
— The Anfield Talk (@TheAnfieldTalk) June 11, 2021
He explained their decision to take a knee against England at Wembley Stadium as an act of solidarity with the English team that was booed by their home fans while taking a knee against Romania and Austria.
“But it is also clear, given the events around the England national team, taking the knee in this tournament matters as a symbol of solidarity. For this reason, we have collectively decided to again take the knee as a team for the fixture against England at Wembley Stadium.”
The English team was booed in their friendly despite explaining that their decision was purely against racism and not anything else. The excuse given by people who boo the knee is that it is a gesture of support of Marxism. There were boos around the stadium prior to the Belgium Russia match as well yesterday and thus, it became important to stick up for what players believe in and Scotland’s decision is a welcome one.