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Belgium team take knee, Russians stand before Euro 2020 opener

Saint Petersburg (AFP) – The Belgium football team were booed for taking a knee to highlight racial injustice, while their Russian opponents stood before Saturday’s Euro 2020 match in Saint Petersburg.

Boos and jeers echoed around the Krestovsky Stadium as the entire Belgian team, as well as Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz, knelt before kick-off in the Group B game, while the Russian players remained standing.

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku, whose parents come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, raised his right fist.

The Belgians are the latest international team to take a knee and England have said they will do the same for their opening game of the European Championship against Croatia on Sunday.

Ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling to protest against racial injustice in 2016.

The gesture has become a familiar sight across a range of sports since George Floyd, who was black, was killed by a white police officer in the United States last year.

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  1. austin

    June 23, 2021 at 11:23 am

    eastern europeans proving once again they are the last of the european people to not be complete pansies and bend to self-hatred

  2. Donald Dickerson

    June 13, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    If you are taking a knee for George Floyd but you dont take a knee for the 100s if not 1000s of black children killed by gun violence yearly then you need to be re-educated.

    When we mourn Drug dealers and riot in the streets in there name but are completely silent on the Drug/Crime in the intercity that kills children everyday we have lost what it means to say Black Lives Matter.

  3. vinnie jones

    June 13, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    it’s about respect if one team takes a knee the other should.

    of course the russians didn’t, the only thing they respect is disregarding anyone’s human rights. then the croats did the same thing at wembley.

    how in the world is espn using steve can-i-comment-on-something-i-have-no-experience in. twitman at least had a bit of european experience, it was german div 3, which explains why he is so rubbish.

  4. Angelito

    June 13, 2021 at 3:49 pm

    100% correct even though I do not cheer for Russia.

  5. Graig Simmons

    June 13, 2021 at 10:35 am

    You can not judge people if you don’t know their culture. The Russian Federation is a multinational country where respect to ANY race and any skin color in blood. As I know Russian people, they kneel only on the front of their national flag.

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