Crystal Palace star Wilfred Zaha has challenged the practice of taking the knee before kicking off matches in England, claiming that the gesture has lost its meaning and has further gone on to say that taking the knee has further made black footballers a target for abuse on social media.
Here is what the player had to say regarding the issue that has long plagued not only football but all aspects of society:
‘I’ve said before that I feel like taking the knee is degrading and stuff because growing up my parents just let me know that I should be proud to be black no matter what and I feel like we should just stand tall.
‘Trying to get the meaning behind it, it’s becoming something that we just do now and that’s not enough for me.
‘I’m not going to take the knee, I’m not going to wear Black Lives Matter on the back of my shirt because it feels like it’s a target. We’re trying to say that we’re equal but we’re isolating ourselves with these things that aren’t even working anyway, so that’s my stand on it.
‘I feel like we should stand tall. Now I don’t really tend to speak on racism and stuff like that because I’m not here just to tick boxes. Unless action is going to happen, don’t speak to me about it.’
It is difficult to disagree with Zaha regarding his stance on the issue, since simply taking a knee before kick-off seems like something that the people involved take part in only as a formality now. The purpose of raising an awareness for racist abuse and preventing it is being lost, with no difference noticeable despite all that has been said and done to combat it.