England manager Gareth Southgate has praised players for using the “power of their voices” to address the issue of racial inequality in football over the last 12 months.
Speaking to Sky Sports on the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd in America, Southgate backed gestures such as the pre-match taking of the knee as they look to affect meaningful change.
"I am working with a lot of players who I know their journey to where they are has been incredibly difficult,” he said “They should be incredibly proud of where they have got to.
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"They recognise the power of their voice. Their voices have been heard, they have been at the forefront of the decisions to take the knee before the games, to have the social media blackout.
"In many respects they have done their bit."
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In addition to players taking action, Southgate also called on authorities inside and outside of football to do more in the fight for equality.
"The players will do their bit and they will continue to say the right things and they will continue to support the right initiatives,” he added.
People in positions of power, seniority across all industries have got to be the ones to make the decisions that are going to make a difference."
Players in England and across Europe have been taking the knee before matches to show support and raise awareness over racial injustice.
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Southgate, who has named his provisional 33-man squad for the European Championship, says he is in favour of continuing the practice during the tournament but will allow the players to decide whether they wish to do so or not.
"I think if we are an England national team, we are in a major tournament and we are making that stand and that image goes all over the world, then if I was a young person, in particular, watching it that would have an impact on me.
But in the end, the players have got to be comfortable. They feel that more needs to happen. Is that message enough?
“I will respect whatever decision that they come to."
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