SEVERAL brain-dead 'fans' booed again as England's players took the knee ahead of the Three Lions' friendly with Romania.
Gareth Southgate and several members of his squad made it quite clear in the build up why they were kneeling and how disappointed they were to hear the jeers ahead of the Austria game.
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But that did nothing to sway a handful of mindless individuals as the players knelt to raise awareness of racial injustice and NOT in support of any political movement as some have tried to suggest.
Fortunately, the boos were quickly drowned out by a loud wave of applause from the vast majority of the crowd at Middlebrough's Riverside stadium.
Two of Romania's players – Ionuț Nedelcearu and Nicolae Stanciu – chose to remain standing as the players dropped to one knee.
Southgate received widespread praise in the build up to the game for his excellent speech on the issue.
Some boos were expected ahead of the match and more will no doubt be heard throughout the Euros this summer.
But after calling a team meeting earlier this week, the England boss revealed him and his players are more eager than ever to continue with the gesture throughout the summer.
Southgate said: “We feel, more than ever, we are determined to take the knee throughout the tournament.
“We accept there might be an adverse reaction but we’re going to ignore it and move forward.
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"We are all trying to move towards equality — and support our team-mates because of some of the experiences they’ve been through — but people decided to boo.
“The players are sick of talking about all the consequences of should they, shouldn’t they.
“They’ve had enough really. And as far as I’m concerned, they are not going to take any more questions on this through the tournament. If it happens, it happens.
“Their voices have been made loud and clear. They are making their stand — but they want the focus to be on football.”
A small minority of fans booed the knee at domestic matches at the end of last season.
But Southgate added: “It’s pointless us wasting our energy if people aren’t prepared to take part in change, look for progress.
“We had a productive meeting with a group of players and we took that to the wider group.
“But there are other things we need to spend our time on.
“The fact that we are going to keep this is impactful. But how many times have we sat here over the last two years discussing these things?
“I must never be tired of doing that — because I don’t have the right to be tired of it.
“I haven’t lived the life my players have, or experienced the things they have.
“It saddens me they are so hardened to it that they’re almost dismissive.
“That’s something in our country we should all reflect on.
“We’re never going to change everybody — but we know that from one generation to the next things improve.
“That’s got to be our aim — to make it better for our children and our grandchildren.”
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