Cartoon Black Lives Matter and Euro 2020

To take or not to take the knee

Published on 29 June 2021 at 11:43

“I’ll just bend over and pretend to be tying my shoelaces

Kneeling on one knee before a football match has reached Europe during the Euro 2020 game. This symbolic gesture was started in the US as a sign of protest against racism and police brutality towards Afro-Americans.

“Taking the knee” is politically motivated in Europe as well: teams from England, Belgium, Wales, Portugal, Scotland and Switzerland practised it while others from France, Poland and Hungary did not. The latter preferred to remain standing, pointing at the “Respect” badge on their left sleeve of their shirts, while others did not want to take a side and left their players to decide on their own whether to do the gesture or not, as in the case of Italy and Germany.

In sports – where some fans booed the players who took the knee – as in politics, Europe remains divided.

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