In a press event Saturday morning, England manager Gareth Southgate stated,
"We accept there might be an adverse reaction, and we're just going to ignore that and move forward." England manager Gareth Southgate
When asked about if his team would take a knee. Players began to take a knee before games during the summer of 2020. The gesture intends to highlight racial injustice.
During his press conference, Southgate spent a significant chunk of time discussing why his team would be taking a knee before their upcoming games. Before England's match against Austria Wednesday, some fans booed the teams for taking knees. The issue clearly holds a place close to Southgate as he spent several minutes speaking about it. He also stated, "We feel more determined than ever to take the knee."
Southgate declared his player would not answer questions regarding the topic during the Euro 2020 tournament. However, Kalvin Phillips spoke with the media and made the team's position even more evident. Phillips stated, "The team spoke about it together, and we came up with the conclusion that regardless of what goes on around, we're still going to participate in the kneeling, and I think that's a great idea."
With the Euros just around the corner, the spotlight gets even brighter on soccer's brightest stars. England's squad appears to be on the same page regarding taking a knee prior to the games.
The Euros begin on Friday, June 11, with a match between tournament favorite Italy and Turkey. Two days later, England plays their first match against Croatia. That game marks the first Group D game of the tournament. England looks like heavy favorites to emerge from their group as winners.
With expectations so high, the team maintaining cohesion on the pitch and off cannot be overstated. England will take a knee before their game on Sunday and before every subsequent match thereafter.