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James O'Brien challenges caller who thinks footballers taking the knee has 'gone on long enough'
7 June 2021, 10:55 | Updated: 7 June 2021, 10:57
'How do you think being on the end of racism feels?': James O'Brien challenges a caller who thinks footballers taking the knee has 'gone on long enough'.
England players were once again booed by some of their own supporters when they took the knee before Sunday's final Euro 2020 warm-up friendly against Romania.
The caller started by saying he thought the booing was an "unfortunate situation," which "doesn't look good for the country."
But, he then went on to say he thought the booing was happening because "a lot of people think when does this stop?"
He wondered if it might be an "indefinite thing."
James pressed the caller asking if he thought it should stop now as it has "gone on long enough?"
"I think that it has to stop at some stage," the caller told James.
But when the LBC host asked him if he would boo if he was present at an England game the caller said there was no chance that he would.
The caller asked James if he thought it would be acceptable if footballers were "still taking the knee before matches in three years time."
"It never entered my mind that there was a time limit in the fight against racism," James remarked.
Arguing back the caller said he thought people "have a feeling that it's never going to end," leading to booing.
"How do you think being a victim of racism feels?" James asked.
Pointing out that the caller was slightly annoyed that this is never going to end, James said the caller was comparing "people watching kneeling to people enduring racism."
"Pick a side, who do you feel sorry for? The people who have to keep watching these footballers kneeling or the people who have to keep living with institutional racism?"
The Three Lions welcomed back fans for the first time in 18 months on Wednesday, when the anti-racism stance was jeered by a pocket of the crowd before being drowned out by cheers ahead of the game against Austria.
England manager Gareth Southgate spoke to his players about the incident ahead of Sunday's return to Middlesbrough, saying on the eve of the game that "we feel more than ever determined to take the knee" at the Euros.
England issued a social media plea for fans to support players taking the knee ahead of the friendly against Romania, but yet again a number of them showed their opposition to the gesture.
Boos were heard around the Riverside Stadium, whereas others applauded.