Wilfried Zaha becomes first Premier League player not to take a knee before matches after saying he believes it’s ‘degrading’.
THE Crystal Palace forward became the first Premier League player to stop taking a knee ahead of the team’s 1-0 winning clash against West Bromwich Albion today, Saturday, March 13.
The Ivory Coast international described having to perform the gesture as ‘degrading’ in an interview last month.
Before the game he released a statement, saying: “My decision to stand at kick-off has been public knowledge for a couple of weeks now.
“There is no right or wrong decision, but for me personally I feel kneeling has just become a part of the pre-match routine and at the moment it doesn’t matter whether we kneel or stand, some of us still continue to receive abuse.
“I also fully respect my team-mates and players at other clubs who continue to take the knee.
“As a society, I feel we should be encouraging better education in schools, and social media companies should be taking stronger action against people who abuse others online – not just footballers.”
He had previously asked why he had to kneel to “show you that we matter”.
While West Brom’s hopes of getting out of the relegation zone took a blow, today’s win takes Palace to 11th on 37 points after 29 games.
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