Athletes Take The Knee At The Olympics For The First Time Ever
An Olympic first has taken place by players on the women’s football pitch taking the knee at the Tokyo Games.
Taking the knee and supporting racial equality has proved to be a controversial topic within England. The Euros saw politicians criticise players for the action, all the while its importance was magnified by the racial abuse players received.
The Team GB women’s football team announced their intention to take the knee last week, and did so before their opening game in the Olympics against Chile, who also took the knee. This show of support comes after the International Olympic Committee relaxed rules around athletes protesting.
The game took place without fans in the Sapporo Dome.
Discussing the decision to take the knee, defender Demi Stokes said the team ‘felt strongly’ about its importance. This was reiterated by manager Hege Riise who said ‘we’re all united’ in regards to taking the knee.
Goalkeeper Carly Telford had said she hopes the football team can encourage other nations to also take the knee, BBC News reports.
Football players began taking the knee in domestic competitions in England last season, in the wake of the horrific death of George Floyd. Floyd was killed when a police officer knelt on his neck for more than 8 minutes, despite Floyd’s protests of not being able to breathe. As a result, many have adopted taking the knee before games to show support for racial equality.
Team GB went on to win the game against Chile 2-0.
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