Wifried Zaha said taking the knee before matches was “degrading”.
One of Crystal Palace’s top strikers, Wilfried Zaha, has said he won’t be taking the knee anymore, despite all Premier League players so far complying with the Black Lives Matter protest.
Zaha has urged other players to “stand tall” instead, claiming that the protest only draws more attention to black players and has lost its meaning.
Speaking at the Financial Times’ Business of Football summit, Zaha (28) said he feels like “taking the knee is degrading” because he was taught to be proud of his colour and intends to “stand tall” instead.
“Sometimes people forget that we have to do it before games. It’s becoming something that we just do now, you know?
“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’s like it’s a target. We’re isolating ourselves. We’re trying to say we’re equal, but we’re isolating ourselves with these things that aren’t even working anyway,” he claimed.
“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.”
Zaha also told On the Judy podcast listeners that he shouldn’t have to kneel down to show that black people matter.
“Why must I even wear Black Lives Matter on the back of my top to show you that we matter? This is all degrading stuff.
“All these platforms – you see what’s happening, you see people making fake accounts to abuse black people constantly, but you don’t change it.
“So don’t tell me to come and chat about stuff that’s not going to change. Change it. All that stuff that you lot are doing, all these charades mean nothing,” he insisted.
Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah and Manchester United’s Anthony Martial have become the latest online targets for racial abuse, with the pair subjected to gorilla emojis and expletives from anonymous social media accounts.
Championship side Brentford F.C. have become the latest lower-league team to announce they will no longer take a knee before matches, with players there saying they no longer feel it is making an impact.
Crystal Palace FC player Wilfried Zaha says he will not take the knee in future, as he says he feels it is "degrading".
— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 19, 2021