Bukayo Saka responds to England players being booed for taking the knee

Bukayo Saka responds to England players being booed for taking the knee

England players booed

England managed to secure a 1-0 victory over Austria but the match was marred by the boos which rang out before the match in reaction to the players taking the knee.

Listen to BBC Radio 5 Live commentator John Murray react as sections of the crowd inside the Riverside stadium booed as the players took the knee ahead of kick-off.

It was a mixture of shock and anger that could be heard in Murray’s commentary. Yes, thankfully (if I can be thankful for anything in this abhorrent behaviour), applause drowned out the boos but the damage had been done.

The players who will be representing the Three Lions, some not even or barely 18 years of age, booed by those who will want them to fight for victory at this summer’s tournament.

Daniel Storey’s piece on the incident included some description.

You are about to spend the next four weeks cheering on these players in a tournament that you are desperate for them to win; they hold our dreams in their hands and at their feet. And on the eve of that tournament, you have expressed to them that you do not care about them as people, only as performing circus animals and gateways to your hopes being realised. You do not deserve their silence. You do not deserve their excellence. They deserve better than this.

Read the full piece here.

Bukayo Saka responds

Scoring his first goal for England, what a moment to be enjoyed by 19-year-old Bukayo Saka.

Selected for the tournament after being the ray of hope in a dire Arsenal season. Saka earned his place and was in the right place too, at the right time to find the back of the net.

However, he was one of those on the pitch having to experience his own supporters booing the anti-racist message displayed by him and every other England player on the pitch.

When asked about it he said, “I don’t understand why they did it. You’ll have to ask the fans that were booing to understand why they did it.”

There is no excuse, no reason that qualifies it being okay to boo an anti-racist message. Not now and not ever. For all the possible reasons one might have, once again Daniel Storey’s linked article above will provide the answers.

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