London. – The political protest and the demonstration in defense of rights stormed the European Championship in an unprecedented way. After the quick defense of coach Gareth Southgate, who whistled to his players, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also wanted to defend the England team’s choice to kneel before each game: a gesture born in the tournament in support of Black Lives Matter and continued in the national team to support campaigns against all kinds of racial discrimination
The English coach had already announced that the gesture would be repeated before each match at Euro 2020, starting with England and Croatia at Wembley next Sunday. For its part, UEFA announced several months ago that it had changed its line regarding its traditional and categorical position, any political or social position on the field, and “recognized” the form of peaceful protest.
But the decision of the English national team. The Three Lions fans disperse, as evidenced by the strong protests of disapproval, which rained down from the stands of Riverside in Middlesbrough, on the occasion of England’s last two friendlies (against Austria and Romania), given their first European appearance, on Sunday at Wembley against Croatia.
The whistles were only partially covered by applause from the majority section of supporters who support the willingness of English players to take sides in support of the international campaign against any kind of racial discrimination.
An awareness campaign today also had the support of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who publicly sided with the England national team. A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister fully respects the right of those who decide to protest peacefully to express their feelings. The Prime Minister is cheering for England and hoping they will succeed, hoping that the whole nation will join in supporting the team for the upcoming tournament.”
A public defense ensued, and with equal clarity, of England coach Gareth Southgate, who not only expressed great solidarity with his players, but also announced that a symbolic gesture – launched by the Black Lives Matter movement, later choking Floyd at the hands of an American policeman – would be repeated before every game. European Championships ahead, starting on Sunday when England make their debut with Croatia at Wembley.
“There are people who have not understood its meaning, and mistake it as a political gesture, but it is not,” Southgate said, in response to those who attribute a political matrix, the far left, to the gesture, and as such consider it inappropriate on a mathematical stage. “I invite the whistleblower to reflect on how our black players feel,” Southgate concluded.