"Educate the masses instead" – Zaha snubs taking a knee in racism fight

for Tv47 Digital March 14, 2021, 10:13 AM
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Ivory Coast and Crystal Palace forward Wilfred Zaha has urged relevant stakeholders in sports to use education in the intensified war against racism.

The Ivorian talisman revealed that players of African descent are still exposed to racism slurs in the outer world leagues, in spite of prevailing efforts to tame the vice.

Zaha refused to take a knee in the Eagles’ English Premier League 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. Taking a knee has been adopted by the English FA in support of the global ‘Black Lives Matter' movement.

Zaha believes the ‘pre-match routine’ has lost its meaning off the pitch as the culprits are still directing their reckless racial abuse at the targeted victims. He has been one of the players in larger European leagues who've found themselves at the receiving end of online racial attacks.

Zaha opted to stand still with hands folded at the back in silence as he watched both sets of players go down on one knee at Selhurst Park yesterday.

"There is no right or wrong decision, but... 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," he said.

"I know there is a lot of work being done behind the scenes at the Premier League and other authorities to make a change, and I fully respect that and... my team-mates and players at other clubs who continue to take the knee," Zaha added.

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."

Racism is on the rise in English football with dark-skinned players bearing the brunt. It is not clear how long teams that are participating in the symbolic contest will continue taking a knee.  

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