Gareth Southgate has revealed that it is the duty of the England players to interact with the fans on issues such as equality and racial injustice. England has confirmed that they will take the knee before every game at the Euros. The team was forced to endure boos from a certain section of the crowd before their warm-up games at the Riverside stadium.
“Our players are role models. And, beyond the confines of the pitch, we must recognize the impact they can have on society. We must give them the confidence to stand up for their teammates and the things that matter to them as people.” England manager Gareth Southgate said in an open letter. “I have never believed that we should just stick to football. I know my voice carries weight, not because of who I am but because of the position that I hold. At home, I’m below the kids and the dogs in the pecking order but publicly I am the England men’s football team manager. I have a responsibility to the wider community to use my voice, and so do the players.”
Marcus Rashford has been abused racially on various social media along with a number of his England teammates. Rashford has been awarded an MBE for his fight against child poverty. Despite the regulations against the use of social media just after games, Southgate has made it clear that he will never ban the social media platform completely.
“The last 18 months have put added pressure on everyone, I know,” Southgate said. “Venting that might have taken place while walking out of the stadium, or in the pub has been transferred online. I get that. However, there are things I will never understand.”