Marco Alonso claims taking a knee is ‘losing a bit of strength’ as an effective anti-racism message – and Chelsea star prefers pointing to No Room For Racism badge to show ‘full support’
- Premier League footballers continue to take the knee ahead of match kick-offs
- The gesture was introduced with Project Restart but remained for 2021-22
- Wilfred Zaha and Ivan Toney are two players who have shunned the gesture
- Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso agrees but insisted he still wants to be ‘fully supportive’
Marcos Alonso believes the anti-racism act of taking a knee is in danger of losing its impact and the Chelsea defender broke his silence on refusing to complete the pre-match ritual.
Ahead of the season, players agreed to continue making the protest — started during Project Restart — in the continued fight against racism. But Alonso is among only a handful of players who have stopped taking the knee before kick-off, joining Wilfried Zaha and Ivan Toney in standing.
Zaha called the act ‘degrading’ earlier this year and Toney said players were being ‘used as puppets’ when asked to take a knee.
Marcos Alonso prefers pointing to the No Room For Racism badge on his shirt to taking a knee
The gesture has continued into the 2021-22 season as the Premier League’s anti-racism move
Alonso said: ‘I am fully against racism and every type of discrimination. I just prefer to put my finger to the badge where it says no to racism, like they do in other sports and football in other countries.
‘Maybe it’s losing a bit of strength the other way, so I just prefer to do it this way and to show I am fully supportive.’
Alonso believes none of his team-mates have a problem with this decision, saying: ‘We haven’t talked about it. We are like a family.
‘I have a very good relationship with everyone. If I have to speak to anyone I will say the same as I told you and I don’t think there will be any problems.’
Wilfred Zaha is among the top-flight stars who have rejected the gesture, calling it ‘degrading’
Alonso believes the gesture is losing its power as the Premier League continue to use it
Alonso has played a key role for Chelsea during their excellent start to the season — they are joint-top of the Premier League after five matches.
The Spaniard insists it is the squad’s strength in depth that makes them title-contenders, adding: ‘These days there are so many games that I’m sure we’ll need everyone.
‘It’s very tough this season and it’s going to be tough to stay up there.’