Wilfred Zaha becomes first Premier League player to stop taking the knee after George Floyd was killed by the police.
The Ivory coast and Crystal Palace winger, Zaha became the first Premier League player to stop taking the knee.
‘Taking the knee’ is a public show of defiance against discrimination of any kind by footballers which involves kneeling down before football matches.
It started since 2020 following the killing of black American George Floyd at the hands of White policemen.
Although Zaha remains fully committed to the fight against racism, he says he feels the message being sent by sportspeople has become diluted, with plenty still suffering online racial abuse.
He suggests that a fresh approach is required.
In the match against West Brom on Saturday March 13, his first start since having injury last month, Zaha refused to kneel, while all the other footballers, coaches and officials took a knee.
A statement from Zaha explaining his actions read: “My decision to stand at kick-off has been public knowledge for a couple of weeks.
“There is no right or wrong decision, but I feel kneeling has just become a part of the pre-match routine and whether we kneel or stand, some of us 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.”