Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso has confirmed he will not be adopting the BLM-inspired gesture of taking the knee again this season, admitting the act has lost its impact.
Speaking after his side’s 3-0 away victory at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, the Spaniard affirmed his support for anti-racism in general, but insisted taking the knee was no longer effective and explained there are other ways to show solidarity.
“I am fully against racism and I’m against every type of discrimination, and I just prefer to put my finger to the badge where it says no to racism, like they do in some other sports and football in other countries,” said Alonso. “I prefer to do it this way and, of course, to say very clearly that I am against racism and I respect everybody.”
“I don’t know, I just prefer to do it this way. It’s my way to do it, I think it’s another way. And maybe I think it’s losing a bit of strength the other way, so I just prefer to do it this way and to show I am fully supportive of fighting against racism.”
When asked if his remarks meant he would not be abandoning the gesture for the rest of the season, Alonso replied: “Yeah, for now I prefer to point to the sleeve and that’s what I will do.”
In the run up to the 2021/22 Premier League season, all twenty clubs announced their intention to continue with the gesture as a symbol of “unity against all forms of racism”.
However, individual footballers have spoken out against the controversial act adopted by the far-left Black Lives Matter movement, who have called for police departments in the United States to be defunded and whose founding members have referred to themselves as “trained Marxists”.
Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha became the first Premier League footballer to denounce the gesture, insisting it changes nothing when it comes to racist abuse and is “degrading”.
“My decision to stand at kick-off has been public knowledge for a couple of weeks now. 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,” Zaha said in a statement back in March.
Drop down a division and Championship striker Lyle Taylor was more damning of the BLM organisation pushing the gesture.
“We are hanging our hat on a Marxist group who are simply, they are looking to defund the police, they are looking to use societal unrest and racial unrest to push their own political agenda. And that’s not what black people are,” the Nottingham Forest forward said in an explosive interview back in February.
“We are not a token gesture or a thing to hang your movement on, just because it’s what’s powerful and what’s going on at the moment”, Taylor added.
In a tweet, former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage praised Alonso “for standing up for decency against the cowards who fear the woke mob”.