England on Monday linked arms along with their teammates ahead of a match against Spain, a U-turn from previous opposition to the kneeling protests that have seen players from the U.S. to England and around the world take a knee in the final moments of a sporting contest.
I’m proud to be part of the England team as we compete in a spirit of respect for the human condition. I’m proud to be part of the England team as we compete in a spirit of respect for the human condition. — Jack Whitehall (@jackwhitehall) November 25, 2018
England manager Gareth Southgate has been vocal in his own defense of the protests against police and racial injustice in America.
Southgate has come under particular fire for his admission that he will play only four of his expected five World Cup squad regulars because he feels they won’t “get enough” credit if they finish bottom of their group.
England captain Harry Kane, who started the national team’s first World Cup qualifier in September, said his teammates “went their own way” on the sideline when the global issue emerged in September.
In an interview last week, Southgate said he hadn’t been able to tell his players that they risked being dragged into the global anthem debate because the topic had not yet taken hold at European level.
But as more players have become entangled in the controversy, Southgate has had a change of heart.
England are due to play Spain on Tuesday at Wembley.
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