Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha became the first Premier League player not to take a knee in solidarity with the anti-racist movement before Saturday’s match against West Bromwich Albion.
Ivory Coast international Zaha stood tall while the rest of his Palace team-mates and their opponents kneeled just before kick-off at Selhurst Park.
The 28-year-old revealed last month when speaking at the Financial Times’ Business of Football summit he would no longer perform a gesture which has been followed by Premier League players, officials and staff since June.
“My decision to stand at kick-off has been public knowledge for a couple of weeks now,” Zaha said in a statement released on Saturday.
“There is no right or wrong decision, but for me personally I feel kneeling has just become a part of the pre-match routine and at the moment it doesn’t matter whether we kneel or stand, some of us still continue to receive abuse.
“I know there is a lot of work being done behind the scenes at the Premier League and other authorities to make change, and I fully respect that, and everyone involved. I also fully respect my team-mates and players at other clubs who continue to take the knee.
“As a society, I feel we should be encouraging better education in schools, and social media companies should be taking stronger action against people who abuse others online – not just footballers.
“I now just want to focus on football and enjoy being back playing on the pitch. I will continue to stand tall.”
Zaha joins Championship clubs Millwall, Derby, Bournemouth and Brentford is no longer taking part in kneeling before matches.
The gesture was brought in as a way to promote the anti-racism message after the death in police custody of George Floyd in the United States last May sparked a rise in Black Lives Matter protests.
Soldiers invades Nnamdi Kanu’s home
Got a news tip?
If you have a story for our news team or firsthand information, pictures about a news story to pass to us, send it via WhatsApp +2348077609539 or email us at email@example.com
Click Banner To Get N100,000 Bonus Now!
When you register on 1xBet using this promo code asbnewsng, you can unlock a fantastic bonus offer of N100,000! Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity. Try it now!
Founder/editor-in-chief – ASB News. If you’d like to get in touch with me, feel free to follow any of my social links below.