HOW DID IT START?
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, then a participant of National Football League (NFL) facet San Francisco 49ers, declined to face for the US nationwide anthem earlier than a pre-season match in 2016 and knelt in one other sport, setting off a debate about race relations, policing and the blending of politics and sports activities.
Kaepernick was later joined in kneeling throughout pre-match renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by many NFL gamers to name consideration to what they noticed as a sample of racism within the therapy of African-People by US police.
Kaepernick turned a free agent after that season and has not been signed by one other workforce since. His activism was seen by some as a motive why groups have been cautious of signing him.
The protests additionally drew the ire of then US President Donald Trump, who referred to as for the NFL to ban gamers who kneel throughout the anthem.
SPREAD OF MOVEMENT
The Black Lives Matter trigger was taken up by Premier League golf equipment in 2020 after the dying of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis.
England’s top-flight golf equipment wore the Black Lives Matter brand on their shirts earlier than it was changed by “No Room for Racism”.
England’s males’s and girls’s groups have knelt earlier than video games since 2020, initially in solidarity with protests over Floyd’s dying after which in help of equality.
Athletes in different sports activities have lent help for the motion, most notably Japanese tennis participant Naomi Osaka on the 2020 US Open the place she wore a masks with the title of a distinct Black American sufferer of police brutality earlier than her matches.
Osaka, who has a Japanese mom and Haitian father, went on to win the title and was lauded for her activism.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, the lone Black driver in System One, has additionally been a supporter of the Black Lives Matter motion with anti-racism gestures earlier than races.
CRITICISM OF PROTESTS
Critics of the protest, together with conservative politicians, say it politicises sport and that they dislike the gesture’s hyperlinks to the organised ingredient of Black Lives Matter, which some contemplate a far-left motion.
A YouGov ballot revealed in June final yr discovered that 54% of supporters in England backed gamers “taking the knee” with 39% opposed.
England supervisor Gareth Southgate has been supportive and taking part within the gesture on the sidelines, saying that black gamers must really feel solidarity after a bombardment of abuse on-line and at some matches.
He stated his gamers had “made our stand as a workforce” after they have been booed by Hungary followers when taking the knee earlier than their pleasant in Budapest final yr. England took a knee throughout the European Championship final yr.
Premier League groups determined to restrict taking the knee to just some vital video games from the 2022-23 season.