Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has said that taking a knee before every game is “degrading” and called for tangible change instead of being used to “tick boxes.”
Zaha, who has been targeted by online racist abuse, told the On The Judy podcast that action needs to come from the social media platforms.
– Hislop: Football is ideal vehicle to drive social change
– Stream Show Racism The Red Card on ESPN+
“The whole kneeling down — why must I kneel down for you to show that we matter,” he said. “Why must I even wear Black Lives Matter on the back of my top to show you that we matter? This is all degrading stuff.
“When people constantly want to get me to do Black Lives Matter talks and racial talks and I’m like, I’m not doing it just so you can put ‘Zaha spoke for us.’ Like a tick box, basically.
“I’m not doing any more because unless things change, I’m not coming to chat to you just for the sake of it, like all the interviews I’ve done.
Wilfried Zaha has said kneeling before games is a box-ticking exercise. Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images
“All these platforms — you see what’s happening, you see people making fake accounts to abuse Black people constantly, but you don’t change it.
“So don’t tell me to come and chat about stuff that’s not going to change. Change it.
“All that stuff that you lot are doing, all these charades mean nothing.”
The Premier League and the English Football Association joined forces with other footballing bodies earlier this month and wrote to social media companies after a rise in online abuse aimed at footballers on their platforms.
Manchester United forward Anthony Martial received racist abuse online again after his side came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with West Brom on Sunday.
Marcus Rashford, Lauren James, Reece James and Alex Jankewitz are among the other players who have received racist abuse.