Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha slams football’s anti-racism gestures as he insists it’s ‘degrading’ to take the knee before kick-off and he’s fed up of being used as a ‘tick box’ because ‘charades mean nothing’
- Wilfried Zaha says it’s degrading that he has to take a knee before matches
- The Crystal Palace winger has been targeted with racial abuse in the past
- The 28-year-old added that he is fed up of charades and being a tick box
Wilfried Zaha believes it is ‘degrading’ that players have to take a knee before matches and called for proper action to tackle the racism.
The Crystal Palace winger has been targeted with abuse on several occasions on social media in the past and says he is fed up of charades that ‘mean nothing’.
Wilfried Zaha (left) says he finds it ‘degrading’ that he has to take a knee before matches
Before every match footballers take a knee as a symbol of support against racism in the world
‘The whole kneeling down – why must I kneel down for you to show that we matter?’ Zaha said.
‘Why must I even wear Black Lives Matter on the back of my top to show you that we matter? This is all degrading stuff.
‘When people constantly want to get me to do Black Lives Matter talks and racial talks and I’m like, I’m not doing it just so you can put “Zaha spoke for us”. Like a tick box, basically.
‘I’m not doing any more, because unless things change. I’m not coming to chat to you just for the sake of it, like all the interviews I’ve done.
‘All these platforms – you see what’s happening, you see people making fake accounts to abuse black people constantly, but you don’t change it.
‘So don’t tell me to come and chat about stuff that’s not going to change. Change it. All that stuff that you lot are doing, all these charades mean nothing.’
Kneeling before matches started during last season’s coronavirus restart as football showed it’s support for the ongoing global fight against racial injustice following the death of George Floyd and subsequent rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
In a further move this campaign a ‘No Room For Racism’ badge on Premier League kits has replaced the Black Lives Matter logo that was present last term.
The Crystal Palace winger has been targeted with racist abuse on several occasions in the past
In the Championship, League One and League Two players wear a logo on their shirts with the words ‘Not Today or Any Day’, in recognition of their ongoing anti-racism initiative.
The FA, Premier League, EFL and Kick It Out joined forces this week to demand action from social media companies after an increase in online hate messages to players, officials and managers.
Football’s leading governing bodies sent a joint letter to Twitter boss Jack Dorsey and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg telling them to ‘accept responsibility’ and called the platforms ‘havens for abuse’.
Marcus Rashford, Reece James and Axel Tuanzebe are just a few of the players to have been targeted in recent weeks.
Facebook announced on Wednesday that they would disable accounts found to have repeatedly sent abusive private messages on Instagram, a platform they own.
Marcus Rashford (left) and Reece James (right) have also been targeted on social media