Chelsea wing-back Marcos Alonso will no longer take a knee before Premier League matches as he believes the anti-racism gesture “is losing a bit of strength”.
Players have been taking a knee prior to kick-off in Premier League games since June 2020 in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha and Brentford striker Ivan Toney have both opted out of the gesture this year, arguing that more should be done to eradicate racism.
Alonso has now followed suit and will instead point to the Premier League’s ‘No Room for Racism’ badge on his sleeve when other players kneel.
“I am fully against racism and I’m against every type of discrimination. 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,” Alonso said.
“I prefer to do it this way and, of course, to say very clearly that I am against racism and I respect everybody.”
Asked if his decision was a political one, Alonso said: “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.”
Alonso, who took a knee throughout last season, has not discussed the issue with his Chelsea team-mates.
“We haven’t talked about it. We are in the changing room and we are like a family,” he said. “I have a very good relationship with everyone.
“I love everyone and, up to now, we haven’t talked about it. I don’t think there is a need to but, of course, if I have to speak to anyone, I will say the same that I just told you and I don’t think there will be any problems.
“For now, I prefer to point to the sleeve and that’s what I will do.”
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