After Championship club Brentford confirmed they will stop kneeling before matches, the Crystal Palace star says he thinks the tradition is “degrading”.
Wilfried Zaha says that before matches, he will no longer take the knee as he thinks the practice is “degrading” and does not contribute to actual racist action.
In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter campaign, Premier League players decided to take the knee before matches over the summer, but many believe the significance behind the gesture has been diluted.
In December, a Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) survey said that “players overwhelmingly support the continuation of this act of solidarity,” but Zaha no longer sees the point, with racial harassment of players making headlines on a near-daily basis.
Speaking at a Football summit, the 28-year-old explained: “I’ve said before that I feel like taking the knee is degrading and stuff because growing up my parents just let me know that I should be proud to be black no matter what and I feel like we should just stand tall.
“Because I feel like taking the knee now, it’s becoming… we do it before games and even sometimes people forget that we have to do it before games.
“Trying to get the meaning behind it, it’s becoming something that we just do now and that’s not enough for me. I’m not going to take the knee, I’m not going to wear Black Lives Matter on the back of my shirt because it feels like it’s a target.
“We’re isolating ourselves, we’re trying to say that we’re equal but we’re isolating ourselves with these things that aren’t even working anyway, so that’s my stand on it.
“I feel like we should stand tall and now I don’t really tend to speak on racism and stuff like that because I’m not here just to tick boxes.
“Unless action is going to happen, don’t speak to me about it.”
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