Is it just me, or do foreign soccer teams keep kneeling on the pitch after England matches?

“What we’re asking for is a dignified response,” said Graham Taylor, a former England manager and former defender. “Those are players who live, work and play in our country and we know there are…

Is it just me, or do foreign soccer teams keep kneeling on the pitch after England matches?

“What we’re asking for is a dignified response,” said Graham Taylor, a former England manager and former defender. “Those are players who live, work and play in our country and we know there are scars from the war, but we cannot do it in a way that disrespects people of different cultures.”

The kneeling has brought him into collision with Sir Clive Woodward, the former coach of England’s victorious Rugby World Cup team, who believes it has done nothing to ease the strain on one of the most politically sensitive issues in modern life.

His view is no surprise considering, as Taylor told me recently, there is an element of guilt among many players over how often they see themselves portrayed as celebrities. “They feel they should be some sort of beacon of virtue but people find them lily-livered and feckless,” he said. “We said to them, ‘What you are trying to do is make a statement about something that needs to be made,’ that you can’t ignore or just ignore.”

Others are not convinced. The current captain, Kyle Walker, believes the politics has become “too political”, but that of a generation of young footballers who look at current events with indifference.

“The next time the government is trying to make one of these arguments about needing to do something because there’s something wrong somewhere, do they say footballers should stand up and speak up on those issues?

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