Norwich MP puts forward motion backing England footballers taking the knee
- Credit: UK Parliament
Clive Lewis has put down an early day motion in parliament backing England football manager Gareth Southgate and his players for standing up to racism and taking the knee.
The motion will call upon prime minister Boris Johnson to make a statement on anti-racism in football ahead of the Euro 2020 kick-off on Friday.
Lewis, also expressed solidarity with black Norwich City and Ireland striker Adam Idah, who spoke out against Hungarian supporters who hurled abuse at his Irish team for taking the knee before their 0-0 draw in Budapest on Tuesday night.
Sunday’s England game against Romania at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough saw some England fans boo their own players as the entire team took the knee.
Mr Lewis said: “I’m just so proud of this England team and its manager for taking this stand. I was also distressed to hear of the disgraceful way Hungarian fans reacted to the taking of the knee by Adam Idah's Irish side.
"There’s a real battle going on at present between those who think anti-racism is something to be applauded and supported and those who are vehemently opposed to it.
"Those booing the taking of the knee are the thin end of the wedge of those who want to turn the clock back on the strides our country has made in combating racism."
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England manager, Southgate has confirmed his team will continue to take the knee before games and has written a Player's Tribune article in which he reaffirms the team's determination to stand up to racism.
Lewis added: "Just as we wouldn’t accept Nazi salutes on our football terraces or pubs and bars, nor should we accept this booing.
"The England team has taken an important stand on this issue, one that affects all walks of life - including sport.
"Politics doesn’t stop at the touchline and these players have demonstrated to the country that when it comes to standing up to racism, everyone has a part to play.”
England open their Euro 2020 tournament at 2pm on Sunday versus Croatia.