England says it’ll kneel.
And if Sunday was any indication, Croatia will most definitely – to a man – stand.
It should make for an interesting pre-game moment when both countries clash next Sunday at the biggest international soccer tournament since the 2018 World Cup.
But this isn’t merely a tale of two football clubs, heading into Euro 2020 (last year’s tournament was postponed due to COVID-19) which kicks off this Friday. Unfortunately, to kneel/not to kneel is stealing some of the thunder ahead of the tournament, due to Marxist ideologues who continue to push the “Black Lives Matter” narrative in all facets of life.
Last Wednesday, in a Euro 2020 warm-up against Austria at Riverside Stadium in Middlesborough, a large contingent of football fans began to boo as players took a pre-game knee. While England manager Gareth Southgate said his players are “sick” of dealing with the fall-out of their decision to take a knee, he also claimed that the club is fully on board with doing so throughout the forthcoming tournament.
Unsurprisingly, Southgate’s comments had little effect on the fan base as many booed the gesture in Sunday’s friendly (soccer term for “exhibition”) against Romania.
To that, there may have been a smattering of cheers for two Romanian players who also chose to remain standing; one of whom was Nicolae Stanciu.
Stanciu has been vocal proponent of defying the Marxist agenda. When asked why he chose not to do so, the Romanian centre-midfielder said he did it “to show solidarity with (Ondrej) Kudela, my colleague at Slavia. He was suspended for 10 games based on no evidence. I don’t believe kneeling is the solution”.
Both Stanciu and Kudela play for club team Slavia Prague. Kudela was handed a 10-game suspension during Europa League play in April for alleged racism towards a black player for Scotland squad Rangers. Kudela has vehemently denied the “disgusting accusation” of racist language.
This situation has been percolating for a while, but it’s not known what steps – if any – will be taken by authorities or the British government in order to quell any noise that flies in the face of the BLM movement. A spokesperson for Boris Johnson said the Prime Minister backs Team England, and that he “fully respects” their right to “make their feelings known… I would want all England fans to be respectful in any football match and (to respect) the right of those who want to peacefully protest in this way.”
On March 13th, Wilfried Zaha – a star attacker for Crystal Palace in the Premiere League (England’s top club league) – became the first player in the Premier League to not take the knee. The 27-year old from the Ivory Coast (Zaha had represented England internationally from 2011 to 2013) explained, “As a society, I feel we should be encouraging better education in schools, and social media companies should be taking stronger action against people who abuse others online – not just footballers”.
In a February “On the Judy” podcast appearance, Zaha was very colourful in his condemnation of the Black Lives Matter movement.