Racism: Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso to stop taking the knee before matches
Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso has stopped taking a knee before matches as he thinks the anti-racism gesture is “losing a bit of strength”.
Instead, the 30-year-old Spaniard says he prefers to stand and point to the No-To-Racism badge on his shirt sleeve.
Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha was the first Premier League player to stop taking a knee.
“I am fully against racism and I’m against every type of discrimination,” said Alonso.
“I just prefer to put my finger to the badge where it says No To Racism, like they do in some other sports and football in other countries.
“I prefer to do it this way and, of course, to say very clearly that I am against racism and I respect everybody.”
Players began taking the knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement after the Premier League’s 100-day hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic in June 2020.
Prior to the start of the current top-flight season, players from all 20 Premier League clubs said they would continue to take the knee as a symbol of their “unity against all forms of racism”.
However, Zaha said earlier this year that players “should stand tall”, and reiterated his view that taking the knee was “degrading”.
On pointing to the No To Racism badge rather than take a knee, Alonso added: “I just prefer to do it this way. It’s my way to do it, and maybe I think it’s losing a bit of strength the other way.
“So I just prefer to do it this way and to show I am fully supportive of fighting against racism.
“For now, I prefer to point to the sleeve and that’s what I will do.”