Gary Lineker causes controversy over on Twitter with his tweet on English teams taking the knee, something that has provided strong backlash.
The sportscaster and former professional footballer weighed in after England say that they will continue to take the knee as a show of solidarity with the Black community.
Gary Lineker has backed Gareth Southgate, despite the stance being booed by a section of their own fans on Wednesday in the friendly against Austria.
Gareth Southgate has hit out at the section of fans who booed when players took the knee before their friendly on Wednesday night.pic.twitter.com/AmKzF5cw68
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) June 3, 2021
🗣️ “We are determined more than ever to take a knee in this tournament”
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) June 5, 2021
Taking the knee, which the Daily Express say is in support of the Black Lives Matter movement but is separate to the political organisation of the same name, has prompted much debate around the world.
But Southgate spoke passionately in a press conference on Saturday in support of his players’ decision to continue presenting a united front against all forms of discrimination.
“In essence people are booing their own team,” he said.
“I don’t really understand that. If you don’t agree with the situation then you don’t have to applaud or you don’t have to do anything. But to boo your own team is a very strange response in my mind.”
BREAKING: Romania will join England’s players in taking a knee before this afternoon’s final friendly before Euro 2020 pic.twitter.com/Q2sMfxYwU3
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) June 6, 2021
Lineker has now come out in support of Southgate, tweeting his thoughts to his 7.9 million followers on Sunday afternoon and quickly got over 80,000 likes on his tweet.
“If you boo @England players for taking the knee, you’re part of the reason why players are taking the knee,” he wrote.
Southgate admitted that the gesture could have an “adverse effect” on his players’ performance if supporters continued to boo, but said they were willing to take that risk in order to stand up for what they believed in.
If you boo @England players for taking the knee, you’re part of the reason why players are taking the knee.
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) June 6, 2021
Premier League midfielder Jack Grealish said the booing was something “we don’t want in football”, while Kalvin Phillips said he was “confused and disappointed” by the fans’ behaviour.
England take on Romania in their final warm-up game in Middlesbrough on Sunday before playing Croatia, Scotland and the Czech Republic in Euro 2020 Group D matches at Wembley.
Southgate added he would not discuss the issue again if fans booed once more, because “we don’t want to give oxygen to those people.”
England’s stance has been criticised, with Conservative MP Lee Anderson vowing to boycott their matches over their decision to take the knee before kick-off.
Meanwhile, fellow Tory MP Brendan Clarke-Smith said Southgate’s comments were “an insult to fans’ intelligence”.
Fans gave their reaction as Gary Lineker causes controversy with his tweet on English teams taking the knee, some agreed, others didn’t…
Here for all the idiots claiming it’s “Marxist” because the Daily Mail told them
— Ashley (@Mr_AJA) June 6, 2021
Maybe those people can look away for the 5 seconds it takes
It’s a sign of where we are that people want say that a gesture to show support for inclusiveness should be stopped because some people are horrified by it & it ruins their day
— Ian Naylor (@IanNaylor1) June 6, 2021
Zaha is not taking the knee because he believes it won’t change the problem,however is still respecting those that do and those that do are still respecting him. Booing show’s no respect and a lack of empathy.
— chris darlaston🌹 (@cdarl67) June 6, 2021
No mate, people pretend it’s political so they can get away with booing it. It’s just a knee to show solidarity against racism, not a political stance. You, and everyone booing, knows that.
— Ben Jones (@beeeej91) June 6, 2021
Does people kneeling down for approximately 3 seconds before said football match cause a huge impact on the viewing experience?
— Dan J.F (@DannyFoxFox) June 6, 2021
And do you think more action will follow if everyone stops taking the knee?
— Sander ⭐⭐ (@SanderCFC) June 6, 2021
I’ve had enough of racism and think it’s boring and run it’s course as well
— Sinny (@sinister79) June 6, 2021
@leeconnolly1: When we were able to attend games prior to Christmas I was close to a guy who was booing. I asked him why you booing mate. He said I don’t support Marxist bollox. I then asked him… what’s a Marxist mate…nothing..zip just a blank look. Just a phrase to back up his racism.
@JamieCFC98: Imagine waiting 18 months to watch a football game and then in your first opportunity you boo your own players for making a signal that they support equality. Some patriots the boo’ers are…
@hartlepooleylad: I haven’t watched a match since this bollocks started and I haven’t missed it a bit. I hope football devours itself, it’s already dead to me!
@johnandpol: Over half the England team the other night were mixed race or black. The goalscorer was the son of Nigerian immigrants, who was signed by Arsenal as a 7 year old. Why can’t we just enjoy English football as a multiracial success story?
@RichieLionel81: Well said @GaryLineker Responses to this are truly grim. Had issues with southgate in terms of his management last year or so but his leadership on this has been first class and he does the country proud
@MartinDaubney: Utter rubbish. I’m against taking the knee as I’m against #BlackLivesMatter saying they want to defund the police, abolish capitalism & attack the nuclear family. Plus they attempted to register as a political party. No room for politics in sport
@MccartneyLes: Exactly Gary. But I think the reference to one particular violent career criminal has reached a natural end. Perhaps it’s time for a new galvanising talisman, as we say in football. I propose Charles Manson. Let me know your thoughts.
@jkwainman: All the folk saying they don’t want politics in football. I’d rather have politics than racism or online abuse
@SamInStockwell: Folk can argue all they like that it’s a Marxist symbol but, as Southgate said, the players OBVIOUSLY aren’t doing it for that reason. Imagine thinking that Tyrone Mings and Ben White are trying to stir up a Marxist revolution by taking the knee. It isn’t that deep lads.
@Gary_M_Wilkes: If you think people are booing England players, rather than the political movement behind their actions, you are part of the reason they are booing!
@8252Hazel: Well it is my personal opinion that if a person wants to promote equality, the last thing in the world they ought to be doing is kneeling down on the bloody floor. If this makes me a problem then so be it.
@LewisThompson7: I think the reason the England players do it, is to promote awareness and get people talking about it, be great if kids are watching why they are doing it and being educated on racism, for footballers it is simply a stand against racism, nothing more and nothing less
@DefineSystem: I don’t understand why it winds people up so much. Can someone please explain?
@pokerstarpotts1: This is very facist. Trying to stop all debate and forcing people to agree with something and saying they have no right to express their feelings. Millions like me who are not racist but hate political correctness and been preached at will boo if we like!
@Covbluenose: That’s simply untrue for the vast majority. Fans are becoming disenchanted with virtue signalling when all they have done is come to watch football! When will it end? We only commemorate those that fell in two world wars once a year & even then the poppy is deemed “political”!
@UtdRedssss: “wE dON’t wAnT PoLIticS iN FoOtBaLL”