'People shouldn't be bullied' into taking the knee, Tory Minister insists

12 June 2021, 12:41

By Seán Hickey

A cabinet minister tells LBC that he thinks taking the knee is 'a little bit performative,' but condemns those booing footballers for doing so.

As the nation remains divided over England's decision to take the knee before matches, Minister for the Middle East and North Africa James Cleverly had his say.

"For me that's not something that I would do" he told Andrew Castle, adding that "taking the knee has become, for me, a little bit performative."

Mr Cleverly told LBC that he'd "like to see a lot more black managers in the dugouts," suggesting that true action should be taken against systemic racism.

Supporting the sentiment of the Prime Minister, he told Andrew that supporters should be giving the national team a "big boost going into the match" rather than booing them.

Read More: Boris Johnson: Don't boo England when they take the knee before matches

Read More: Anti-racism activist urges athletes to use black power salute – not take the knee

"I cannot imagine how I would boo my national team" the cabinet minister revealed.

He understood why people were irritated by the insistence on kneeling, adding that "there is a feeling people are being dictated to."

Mr Cleverly said that "we've seen scenes in America where people are being bullied into taking the knee" and there is a concern that we will see the same scenes in England.

Having said that, Mr cleverly concluded that "we shouldn't be booing our national team right before these important football matches."