Helsinki defender Marcos Alonso has explained his decision to stop kneeling before matches this season, saying the anti-racist gesture “loses some force”.
Premier League players from all 20 clubs continued to kneel down ahead of games in the 2021/22 campaign as a symbol of unity against racism and discrimination, while the England national team also continues collectively perform the gesture.
However, those who have stopped doing so include Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha, who said in March he thought taking a knee was “degrading” and had lost its meaning.
Newly promoted Brentford players have resumed the gesture this season after initially stopping in February, but forward Ivan Toney continues to show up ahead of games in his own personal statement, having previously said the players were “used as puppets “.
Alonso now prefers to show his opposition to racism and discrimination by standing before kick-off and showing the ‘No Room for Racism’ badge that all top players and officials have been wearing on their sleeves since the kick-off. last season.
Asked about his position after Chelsea’s 3-0 London derby victory over Tottenham on Sunday, Alonso said: “I am totally against racism and I am against any kind of discrimination, and I would rather just put my finger on it. badge where it says no to racism, as they do in other sports and football in other countries.
He added: “I would rather do it this way and of course make it very clear that I am against racism and that I respect everyone.
“I think it loses a bit of force the other way around, so I prefer to do it that way.”
Alonso says he has yet to discuss his alternate approach with his Chelsea team-mates but is happy to do so.
“We haven’t talked about it,” he said. “We’re in the locker room and we’re like family. I have a very good relationship with everyone. I love everyone and so far we haven’t talked about it.
“I don’t think it’s necessary but of course if I have to talk to someone I’ll say the same thing I just told you and I don’t think there will be any problems. For now, I prefer to point the finger at the sleeve and that’s what I’ll do.