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Anthony Joshua says taking the knee is 'not a political stance'

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Anthony Joshua has offered his support to the England football team after its players took the knee in every game of EURO 2020.

The gesture, made by athletes throughout sport as an anti-discrimination message, received some backlash in the build-up to the competition, with a certain minority of fans booing the England team in the pre-tournament friendlies.

Furthermore, British politicians Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel also criticised the symbol, the latter saying she believed it to be 'gesture politics'. 

But, speaking to Gary Neville's The Overlap, unified  heavyweight champion Joshua dismissed any inferences to it having a political meaning.

"For me, it's not a political stance," he said. "I've had to learn about what's happened and what's been going on more so last year and this year, than I ever have, to understand that this is just for a change for the better.

"I feel like the players and the teams have done a great job of explaining what the reasons are for taking a knee and as a fan, whether you're there for that, or not, you're there to watch the team win.

"Certain people are aware, certain people have learned more recently. But as I said, it's nice that the explanation was made clear as to why a knee is being taken.

"The importance of supporting your teammates and your players, emotionally you're with them through thick and thin. That's the whole point, that's loyalty. The reason that has been explained of them taking a knee is to bring awareness to an issue that's been going on.

"It's not political, it's not about defunding anything or funding anything. The change wants to be made for the better. For the betterment of my kids, probably your kids, probably the person down the road's kids, so harmony is created, because division is going to cause war."

"I would take a knee, 100% I would. I would anyway."

 

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