All Premier League clubs have been taking a knee before kick off on very match day in support of the anti-racism “Black Lives Matter” movement. Fans booed the players when both the English and Austrian players took a knee prior to the match on Wednesday.
Gareth Southgate was quick to slam the fans who disrespected the gesture as he feels they do not understand the message behind the movement as they feel it’s just a political agenda. Around 7000 fans were at the Riverside stadium at Middlesbrough and jeers could be heard from certain sections of the crowd before the referee blew the first whistle.
“I was pleased it was drowned out by the majority of the crowd but we can`t deny it happened,” Southgate said.
“It’s not something on behalf of our Black players that I wanted to hear because it feels as though it is a criticism of them. I think the majority of people understand it. Some people aren`t quite understanding the message and I suppose we are seeing that across a number of football grounds at the moment.”
Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish said none of the players were pleased about it. “I think that will get talked about in the next few days,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s a thing we don’t want in football in general and especially in our games.”
England managed to see off Austria as Bukayo Saka scored his debut England goal in a 1-0 victory. With a lot of key players missing, Southgate will be happy about the result. The only negative from the game was Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury just before full time.
“It’s not a good sign to see him have to walk off as he did,” said Southgate. “We’ll know more in the next 24-48 hours.”
After further examination, it was reported that Trent Alexander-Arnold will be injured for about 4-6 weeks which means he will be missing the entirety of the Euros. Gareth Southgate will be announcing a replacement after their final warm up game.