Tyrone Mings responds to Priti Patel’s comments on taking the knee

Tyrone Mings has responded to comments made by Home Secretary Priti Patel’s comments about taking the knee.

Patel said that England fans have a right to boo when the taking of the knee occurs, and accused the action as “gesture politics“.

The England players were booed by a small section of the Wembley crowd against Croatia on Saturday as they took the knee, but the boos were quickly drowned out by loud applause.

The FA tweeted a message to England supporters prior to that opening Euro 2020 clash, reiterating the reasons behind the taking of the knee as a peaceful protest against discrimination, injustice and inequality, and asking that fans should respect the wishes of the players.

Mings says he doesn’t want the “hugely positive reaction” to England players taking the knee to be overshadowed by those who “refuse to accept what the reasons are or don’t agree with them”.

Mings’s comments to home secretary

Mings said: “To the home secretary – I don’t really have a direct message.

“We spoke and she invited me on to a Zoom call once, where she seemed so interested and engrossed in players’ kind of point of view and what we could do more to tackle these sort of issues.

“But at the same, everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. The home secretary is one of many, many people that oppose us taking the knee or refuse to defend it.

“We have our own set of beliefs and what we think we can do to help or be players that can be influential and can stand up for what we believe in, and understandably when you have such strong beliefs there will be opposition to that.

“We’ve spoken about it a lot, we’ve spoken about trying to educate or trying to inform the minority who refuse to acknowledge why we’re taking the knee and want to boo it.

“But at the same time, in Wembley there was a hugely positive reaction to us taking the knee as well and I don’t think that should be overshadowed by a minority that refuse to accept what the reasons are or don’t agree with them.”

England manager Gareth Southgate said earlier in June that he believed the message behind taking the knee was being misunderstood by some fans.

He said: “I think we have got a situation where some people seem to think it is a political stand that they don’t agree with.

“That’s not the reason players are doing it. We are supporting each other.”

England are next in Euro 2020 action on Friday, when they take on Scotland at Wembley. They then face Czech Republic on June 22.

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