Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso has said he will no longer kneel before matches as he believes the anti-racist move is “losing strength”.
The Spain left-back has said he will instead show off the Premier League’s ‘No room for racism’ badge on his sleeve, while other players will kneel before kick-off.
Since the Premier League resumed in the summer of 2020 after a hiatus imposed by the coronavirus, players, officials and staff at matches have knelt before kick-off to show their support for the equality movement racial.
“I’m totally against racism and I’m against any kind of discrimination, and I’d rather just put my finger on the badge where it says no to racism, like they do in other sports and football in other countries “said Alonso. .
“I prefer to do it this way and of course make it very clear that I am against racism and that I respect everyone.”
When asked if his decision to stop taking the knee had something to do with politics, Alonso said, “I don’t know, I just prefer to do it this way. do it, I think that’s another way.
“And maybe I think it loses a bit of force the other way around, so I’d rather just do it that way and show that I fully support the fight against racism.”
Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha became the first top player to step down from the gesture earlier this year after saying he believed taking a knee was “degrading”.
Alonso, who was speaking to the media following Chelsea’s victory over Tottenham on Sunday, said he had not discussed his decision with any of his Chelsea team-mates, several of whom were racially abused.
Reece James, Antonio Rudiger, N’Golo Kante and Romelu Lukaku have all been abused in recent years, with England defender James temporarily deleting his Instagram account earlier this year due to the extent of online abuse.
“No, we haven’t talked about it,” Alonso said.
“We’re in the locker room and we’re like family. I have a really good relationship with everyone, I love everyone and so far we haven’t talked about it. I don’t think so. it is necessary, but, of course, if I have to talk to someone, I will say the same thing I just told you and I don’t think there will be any problems. “
Alonso confirmed that he intends to maintain his position for the rest of the season, adding: “Yes, for now I prefer to show the round and that’s what I will do.”
The 30-year-old, who fell out of favor at Chelsea under Frank Lampard before the arrival of Thomas Tuchel last season, has got off to a good start to the 2021/22 campaign, starting all five Premier League games ahead of the England defender Ben Chilwell.
The high esteem in which Tuchel holds Alonso was underscored by the former Bolton and Sunderland defender who received the captain’s armband as Chelsea beat Aston Villa earlier this month.
Sunday’s 3-0 win at Spurs kept the European champions’ undefeated start to the season, in which they took four wins and one draw after a tough opening schedule.
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