Women and men across the world are taking to the field for the 2018 FIFA World Cup to bring pride and respect back to the sport. They are also expressing outrage against the new rules that do not allow kneeling and standing during the national anthem.
What seems to be a polarizing topic in England is a global concept in many nations, and in many ways, it is a reflection of a wider political climate where religion, patriotism and bigotry can easily lead to violence.
The England players have not only opted to kneel but to join together during the anthem after a private meeting this week with the prime minister, Theresa May. One of the country’s most high-profile soccer stars, Harry Kane, tweeted his support for the players.
So proud of my @ThreeLions teammates who are asking to take a knee during the national anthem. This is huge for the country! #StandWithUs 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧#Unity — Harry Kane (@HKane) September 11, 2018
Dozens of players in England’s Premier League have knelt during the national anthem over the past few years, and clubs have been publicly supportive of them. Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho called players who kneel “very sad.”