A GB News reporter who took the knee live on air in support of England players has defended his right to do so after receiving backlash on Twitter.
While England played a commendable game against Italy during the Euro 2020 final, it has been overshadowed by the disgusting racist abuse footballers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka received after missing their penalties.
The team proved exactly why taking the knee is so vital when the statement provoked such a loud reaction from opposition.
During his GB News programme today, Guto Harri said he now ‘gets’ why the England team refused to listen to the critics before taking the knee himself.
His actions resulted in a backlash on Twitter, with many viewers disappointed in his decision to do so.
Guto proved that he was going to stand by his decision, as he said more about his actions on the social media site.
He wrote: ‘GB News is – above all – about free speech; having the debates others won’t.
‘English footballers have made it clear that when they take the knee they are making a clear statement about rejecting racism (not endorsing the narrow divisive aims of BLM). I support them.’
Scottish presenter Neil Oliver supported his colleagues decision to share the knee as well.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘My @GBNEWS teammate @Guto_Harri is right to say and do as he sees fit. I do the same. That’s the ethos of the channel. Free speech. We don’t all agree with each other – that’s the point, or else where’s the debate?’
Guto Harri made a U-turn over his stance on taking the knee in football (Picture: GB News)
These comments comes after Guto explained why he supported taking the knee on the show.
‘All politics is about gestures, not just about running public services,’ he said.
‘It’s about signalling what’s right and wrong about a country.’
He continued: ‘I’ve never understood why people find it offensive. I tended to be one of those people who thought “do we really need to do this at every football match?”
‘But having seen just how close to the surface how hideously ugly racism among some English fans is, I totally get it why this squad throughout wanted to make a stand, day in, day out, every time they took to the pitch.
‘With the benefit of hindsight, I might have underestimated how close to the surface the racism is.’
Boris Johnson has slammed those behind the racist comments, saying they ‘should be ashamed of themselves’, but he has also been widely criticised for previously ‘fuelling’ racist behaviour, calling Muslim women ‘letterboxes’ and Black people ‘picaninnies with watermelon smiles’.
Home Secretary Priti Patel – who has previously insisted fans have a right to boo players who take the knee – said she was ‘disgusted by the vile abuse’.
Credit: Original article published here.