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Mixed reaction as England players take a knee before Romania friendly

England"s Jack Grealish takes the knee before the friendly with Romania
England were playing for the second time inside a week at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium
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A minority of fans jeered England’s players for taking a knee before the friendly with Romania at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium.

For the second time in four days jeers circulated around the ground, prior to England’s final game before Euro 2020.

However, they were quickly suppressed by applause from a crowd of about 8,000.

England boss Gareth Southgate said on Saturday that his players were “more determined than ever to take the knee”.

It followed jeers when players made the gesture before the match with Austria.

Players have been taking a knee to highlight racial injustice.

The Romania fixture is England’s final match before their opening Group D game against Croatia at Wembley next Sunday (14:00 BST).

Southgate, speaking to ITV before Sunday’s game, was asked before kick-off about the reaction to his players taking a knee.

“We can’t control the response,” he said. “We are very clear on our stand. We are united as a staff and a playing group.”

BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty, who was at the Riverside Stadium, said there was loud and prolonged jeering mixed with plenty of applause.

Former England defender Stephen Warnock, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, added: “The boos came and then it was overcrowded by the claps.”

Speaking on Saturday, Southgate said: “We accept there might be an adverse reaction, and we’re just going to ignore that and move forward.

“Those people should put themselves in the shoes of the young players.

Sunday, 13 June Croatia 14:00
Friday, 18 June Scotland 20:00
Tuesday, 22 June Czech Republic 20:00

“How would they feel if their kids were in that situation?

“We did discuss if there is a better way of doing this. Is there more an impactful way now of doing this?

“Perhaps moving forward there probably is, but at this moment in time, given what happened the other day, we were not prepared to make a backward step.

“We feel that would be wrong and we would be bowing to pressure from outside and we don’t think that is appropriate. We are united on that as a full team.”

Sourced From BBC

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