Chelse’s Marcos Alonso has admitted he believes taking the knee before matches has lost some of its significance in the fight against racism.
The Spaniard has not joined the rest of his team-mates in performing the gesture at all this season, instead pointing to the ‘No Room for Racism’ patch on his sleeve while the rest of the players take the knee.
He joins only a handful of Premier League players, including Brentford’s Ivan Toney and Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, to stop taking the knee before games, but Alonso stressed that his decision is nothing to read into.
“I am fully against racism and I’m against every type of discrimination, and I just prefer to put my finger to the badge where it says no to racism, like they do in some other sports and football in other countries,” said Alonso (via The Telegraph). “I prefer to do it this way and, of course, to say very clearly that I am against racism and I respect everybody.
“I just prefer to do it this way. It’s my way to do it, I think it’s another way. And maybe I think it’s losing a bit of strength the other way (taking the knee), so I just prefer to do it this way and to show I am fully supportive of fighting against racism.”
Alonso also revealed that he has not felt the need to discuss his decision with his team-mates, some of whom have been targeted by racist abuse recently, such as Reece James, Antonio Rudiger and Romelu Lukaku.
“No, we haven’t talked about it,” said Alonso. “We are in the changing room and we are like a family. I have a very good relationship with everyone, I love everyone and up to now we haven’t talked about it. I don’t think there is a need to, but, of course, if I have to speak to anyone, I will say the same thing I just told you and I don’t think there will be any problems.
“For now I prefer to point to the sleeve and that’s what I will do [for the remainder of the season].”
Alonso has been in excellent form for Chelsea this season, making seven appearances in all competitions and running riot in the recent 3-0 win over Tottenham, during which he was audibly booed by the Spurs fans.
“I love it! To be booed when you play away, it’s music to my ears,” he said. “It might be because I have scored a few goals against them and I think they maybe have these memories in their head when I touch the ball, so yeah I love it and even more when we get the three points.”Internet Explorer Channel Network