29 June 2021

Dalian Atkinson’s family hope his memory honoured as England stars take knee

29 June 2021

The family of former footballer Dalian Atkinson said they hoped his memory would be honoured as England players took the knee ahead of their Euros match.

Players from both sides made the now-familiar gesture against racism on the pitch just before kick-off on Tuesday in the Three Lions’ game against Germany.

The match came just hours after a police officer was jailed for the manslaughter of the ex-Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town star.

The trial of Pc Benjamin Monk heard that he left two bootlace imprints on the former Premier League footballer’s forehead – following an “excessive” 33-second Taser deployment.

In a statement after Monk’s sentencing, Mr Atkinson’s family said: “As his fellow footballers take the knee, we hope that they will honour the memory of Dalian.”

The Football Association had asked those in attendance to respect the symbolic act by players on the pitch but it was booed by a minority of fans at Wembley Stadium.

A symbol of anti-racism solidarity, taking the knee gained attention in American football in 2016 as players protested against police brutality and racism in the US.

The act has since spread further and was adopted by footballers in the UK, partly to demonstrate that racism should not be tolerated in the sport.

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