Jeers were heard as England took the knee against Austria last Wednesday, quickly drowned out by applause. It was the English national team’s first international match in front of fans in 18 months. The team again received some negative reaction on Sunday for doing the same against Romania.
Liverpool FC captain and England vice-captain Jordan Henderson had frank thoughts about this nonsense:
“No, it doesn’t (help anyone). I think as players we’ve made it very clear that we’ll all stand together against racism and that is the reason that we’ll continue to take the knee and have done over the last few weeks. But I think the lads are starting to feel that they don’t really want to talk about it anymore.”
“Of course everybody knows we stand together and you’ll see that in taking the knee, but we want to get on with football and concentrate on that and that’s our focus, really.”
“Well, I think it shows that if there’s still people booing because we’re standing together against racism that there is still a problem and we’re still going to fight it and we stand together on that.
“That shows that even more that we need to keep going and we need keep fighting it.
“But from our side it’s about being together and doing what we think is right and that’s what we feel is right.”
English fans suck. Jordan also addressed comments made by his former manager Roy Keane, who had questioned the choice to bring Henderson along with the squad when he had only just recovered from groin surgery. He asked this about his former player - “Does he do card tricks? Does he have a sing-song? Does he do quizzes in the evening? What does he do?”:
“To be fair to Roy, he can say what he wants about me. He gave me my debut and I wouldn’t be here without him giving me that.”
“He can say whatever he wants about me. I found it quite funny, actually.”
“So, yeah, listen, we know a little bit more detail, I know more detail and so does the manager, which Roy may not.”
“But in terms of stuff like that, everyone’s going to have an opinion, everybody’s going to think they know better than everybody else.”
“But for me all my focus has been on the last couple of months is working as hard as I possibly can to be in a position where I can contribute in the tournament and I’m very thankful I’m in that position now.”
“Yeah, and the card tricks he was on about – I’ve got a few of them up me sleeve!”
“Listen, as a player you want to play and I’m not coming here just to be around the camp, like Roy was saying. I want to come here and I want to contribute in the games. How much of that is not really down to me, it’s up to the manager to make a decision. But whenever I’m called upon, I’ll be ready and hopefully I can be a big contribution to this tournament and our success going forward.”
Roy Keane really sucks too, but yeah, we also already knew that.