Soccer

Lineker offers damning verdict over fans with England to take knee at Euro 2020

Gary Lineker has lashed out at England supporters who have booed the taking of the knee.

The former Three Lions striker and veteran BBC presenter gave his verdict on the reaction of those in attendance at the Riverside Stadium who chose to dismiss the protest ahead of both Euro 2020 warm-up matches against Austria and Romania.

During the kneel, which has been introduced to shine a light on racism in both football and wider society, boos could be heard clearly over ITV broadcasts, despite thousands choosing to clap the gesture inside the ground to drown out their counterparts.

Lineker's stance comes after Gareth Southgate asked those responsible to take a look at their actions, promising to continue taking the knee at the upcoming tournament.

He wrote: "If you boo England players for taking the knee, you’re part of the reason why players are taking the knee."

That echos the view of Southgate, who has reiterated that his squad are united in their view.

He said: “We feel more than ever that we are determined to take the knee throughout this tournament. We accept that there might be an adverse reaction but we're going to ignore that and move forward.

“I think those people should put themselves in the shoes of those young players and how they must feel.

“If that was their children – if they're old enough to have children – how would they feel about their kids being in that situation?

“The most important thing for our players is for them to know we are totally united on it.”

Adding of his intentions going forward: "The players have had enough really – and as far as I'm concerned they're not going to take more questions on this through the tournament. If it happens, it happens.

“Their voices have been made loud and clear. They know the power of their voices. They know that they can make a difference. The fact that we are going to keep going is impactful.

“It saddens me that they are so hardened to it that they're almost dismissive. That's something that, in our country, we should all reflect on.”

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