Gary Lineker has taken aim at England fans who have booed Three Lions stars when they take a knee before matches.
Some supporters at England’s friendly win over Austria on Wednesday were heard booing as the players took a knee before kick off. They were subsequently drowned out by other fans who applauded.
Players began taking a knee before matches last summer, uniting in protest in their bid to eradicate racism from both football and society.
It is not the first time fans at grounds across the country have booed amid wrong claims that it is Marxist conspiracy.
Lineker took to social media to share a message with those who have decided to jeer at players.
He wrote: “If you boo England players for taking the knee, you’re part of the reason why players are taking the knee.”
This came after England manager Gareth Southgate provided a thoughtful and articulate answer at a press conference after he was asked about the boos – reiterating his squad will continue to do so during Euro 2020.
He said: “We feel more than ever that we are determined to take the knee throughout this tournament.
“We accept that there might be an adverse reaction but we’re going to ignore that and move forward.
“I think those people should put themselves in the shoes of those young players and how they must feel.
“If that was their children – if they’re old enough to have children – how would they feel about their kids being in that situation?
“The most important thing for our players is for them to know we are totally united on it.”
Fans will once again be present at England second and final Euro warm-up match against Romania on Sunday.
And Southgate added the issues that lead players to protest should be something the country as a whole reflects on.
He said: “The players have had enough really – and as far as I’m concerned they’re not going to take more questions on this through the tournament. If it happens, it happens.
“Their voices have been made loud and clear. They know the power of their voices. They know that they can make a difference.
“The fact that we are going to keep going is impactful.
“It saddens me that they are so hardened to it that they’re almost dismissive.
“That’s something that, in our country, we should all reflect on.”
The Euros begin on June 11 with England’s first group match being against Croatia on June 13.
Southgate’s team are aiming to win the tournament for the first time as England have only ever reached the semi-finals in 1968 and 1996.