An ignorant minority who need educating – Ferdinand on those that boo ‘taking a knee’on June 9, 2021 at 11:10 am

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

The people booing England players taking a knee are an “ignorant minority” who need “educating”, says former England captain Rio Ferdinand.

Dates: 11 June-11 July. Venues: Amsterdam, Baku, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome, Seville, St Petersburg. Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC Radio, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for more details

England players were booed before two games last week as they made the gesture to highlight racial injustice.

Ferdinand told the BBC those that booed were “being heard loud and clear”.

He added: “They are part of the problem. These people need to be educated. I think half of them don’t even know what they’re booing for.”

After England were booed by a minority of supporters before their two Euro 2020 warm-up games in Middlesbrough, manager Gareth Southgate said that “some people aren’t understanding the message” with taking a knee, stressing that it is not “a political stand”.

Southgate said his players would continue taking a knee and, in an open letter he wrote for The Players’ Tribune,external-link said it was their duty to “continue to interact with the public on matters such as equality, inclusivity and racial injustice”.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, former centre-back Ferdinand said: “If [people who booed] had listened to Gareth Southgate in his press conferences and what the players have said, taking the knee is not about politics.

“There are a lot of people, I feel stupid people, making excuses and using politics as a reason they don’t agree or they’re booing players taking the knee.

“Listen, educate yourself, be informed and then you won’t be booing.”

However, Tory MP Brendan Clarke-Smith wrote on Facebookexternal-link at the weekend that taking a knee “now comes across as little more than habitual tokenism and has lost its effect”.

He added that “the mixing of politics and football had disastrous consequences” and questioned whether players “really want to carry the political baggage that comes with taking the knee”.

And England fan Andrew, who was at both games last week, told Radio 1 Newsbeat he booed to show his objection to what he sees as “an identity politics agenda that focuses on black people and skin colour, when as far as I am concerned we are all England fans regardless of colour”.

“Some seem to genuinely believe booing is an act of racism – I reject that,” he adds.

Meanwhile, following the news that “offensive material” in historical tweets by some England cricket players was being investigated, Ferdinand added: “Don’t just punish people, there needs to be an education element that goes alongside it.

“Looking back at our past tweets is right – I feel people need to be shown the wrongs they’ve done – but the bigger element for me is education.

“With punishment alone, these things keep occurring, because there isn’t the education that backs it up.”

‘The lads don’t really want to talk about it any more’

England vice-captain Jordan Henderson believes if fans continue to boo then it highlights that “there is still a problem” to fight.

“As players, we’ve made it very clear that we’ll all stand together against racism and that is the reason that we’ll continue to take the knee and have done over the last few weeks,” said the Liverpool midfielder.

“It’s about being together and doing what we think is right, and that’s what we feel is right.

“But I think the lads are starting to feel that they don’t really want to talk about it any more.

“Of course, everybody knows we stand together and you’ll see that in taking the knee, but we want to get on with football and concentrate on that and that’s our focus, really.”

England’s Euro 2020 opener is against Croatia at Wembley on Sunday (14:00 BST).

- Advertisement -

Discover

Sponsor

Latest

Over 80,000 Israelis protest against Supreme Court reformon January 14, 2023 at 10:47 pm

Demonstrators in Tel Aviv say government plans to overhaul the judiciary would be an attack on democracy.This video can not be playedTo play this...

Heavy rain causes floods and travel chaos across UKon January 12, 2023 at 5:42 pm

Heavy rains and strong winds cause disruption in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.This video can not be playedTo play this video you need to...

Michael Jackson’s nephew Jafaar Jackson to play him in biopicon February 1, 2023 at 12:17 pm

Jermaine Jackson's son Jafaar, 26, will play the lead role in the film, simply titled Michael.Image source, Getty ImagesBy Steven McIntoshEntertainment reporterMichael Jackson's 26-year-old...

Rafael Nadal beats Cameron Norrie to win Mexican Open titleon February 27, 2022 at 7:16 am

Rafael Nadal maintains his unbeaten start to 2022 by beating British number one Cameron Norrie in straight sets to win the Mexican Open.

US Open 2022: Matt Fitzpatrick wins first major at Brookline Country Clubon June 19, 2022 at 11:13 pm

England's Matt Fitzpatrick claims the US Open title with a one-shot victory at Brookline Country Club.England's Matt Fitzpatrick claims the US Open title with...