SUTR: Statement signed by politicians, union leaders and campaigners opposing the booing of players’ #TakeTheKnee & government failure to act


We express our solidarity with those teams who show their opposition to racism by taking the knee at Euro 2020. We believe Boris Johnson should have forcefully condemned the booing of England players by a small minority of so-called supporters.

Johnson’s statement said he “fully respects the right of those who choose to peacefully protest and make their feelings known” and “on taking the knee, specifically, the prime minister is more focused on action rather than gestures’.

Tory MP Brendan Clarke-Smith repugnantly compared taking the knee to England footballers performing the Nazi salute during a 1938 match with Germany. Another Tory MP for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire has stated he will boycott England games because of Take The Knee. Johnson failed to condemn these MPs which is giving succour to the far right.

A host of right wing figures including former UKIP leader Nigel Farage & former actor and right wing politician Lawrence Fox have joined in the attacks on the players, England’s manager Gareth Southgate and BBC pundit Gary Lineker who has publicly opposed the booing and supported the teams anti-racist stance.

Now videos are circulating calling for protests against taking the knee at Wembley stadium coinciding with England’s first game against Croatia on Sunday. These videos are being promoted by convicted criminal Tommy Robinson and others.

We reject racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism and attempts by the far right to use football to build support. We stand in solidarity with all teams who choose to #TakeTheKnee in support of #BlackLivesMatter and in opposition to racism. We call on all fans to show their solidarity with their teams taking the knee before kick off by applauding the players.


Diane Abbott MP

John McDonnell MP

Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP

Richard Burgon MP

Claudia Webbe MP

Zarah Sultana MP

Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite the Union

Christina McAnea, General Secretary of UNISON

Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of NEU

Dave Ward, General Secretary of CWU

Shavanah Taj, General Secretary of WTUC

Shaka Hislop, Honorary President of Show Racism the Red Card

Mike Rosen, Poet & Writer

Mick Lynch, General Secretary RMT

Mick Whelan, General Secretary of ASLEF

Lord Hain

Baroness Blower

Sabby Dhalu & Weyman Bennett, co-convenors Stand Up To Racism

Patrick Vernon OBE, social commentator and Windrush campaigner

Mohammed Kozbar, Chairman Finsbury Park Mosque

Raghad Altikriti, Muslim Association of Britain President

Anas Altikriti, CEO of The Cordoba Foundation

Azhar Qayum, CEO of MEND

Daniel Kebede, Senior Vice President of National Education Union

Jane Loftus, President of CWU

Gloria Mills, TUC Race Relations Committee chair/ Unison National Secretary & Head of Equality

Aamer Anwar, Human Rights Lawyer

Ben Chacko, Morning Star Editor

Lindsey German, Stop the War Convenor


To sign please click here