Taking the knee: 'Why can't we have an adult discussion about what racism is?'

7 June 2021, 16:45 | Updated: 7 June 2021, 17:38

By Sam Sholli

Kick It Out chief executive Tony Burnett has given LBC his take as some England fans have opposed footballers taking the knee before matches.

Mr Burnett gave LBC his perspective after England players were this weekend booed by some of their own supporters as they took the knee prior to a Euro 2020 warm-up friendly against Romania.

He told Shelagh Fogarty: "We've got a group of young men who are making a gesture to say they are against discrimination.

"There is nothing political in it. They are just making a gesture."

The Kick It Out chief executive added: "I don't understand why this particular gesture has got people's backs up. This is a group of young men representing us saying they're against discrimination. Let's just get behind them."

READ MORE: Tory MP compares England footballers taking the knee to Nazi salute

Mr Burnett also said: "Why can't we just have an adult discussion about what racism is in our society?

"Instead we get sidetracked by issues like gestures and statues."

He later said: "I think there [is] a certain group of people that never want to have this dialogue, that never want to talk about discrimination in the same way they never want to talk about misogyny or they never want to talk about LGBT rights."

READ MORE: James O'Brien challenges caller who thinks footballers taking the knee has 'gone on long enough'
READ MORE: Anti-racism activist urges athletes to use black power salute – not take the knee

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