Roy Hodgson defends Zaha: He is not the only player who thinks taking knee lost its meaning
By Alessandro Schiavone
Crystal Palace manager has launched a staunch defence of Wilfried Zaha, who became the first player in the Premier League not to take a knee before kick-off yesterday.
The Eagles claimed bragging rights at Selhurst Park, grinding out a 1-0 win against West Bromwich yesterday, but It was Zaha’s stance on the issue of racism that stole the headlines more than the game itself.
By refusing to take the knee, the 28-year old Ivorian set a precedent that other black players may follow in a bid to introduce tougher measure for racists.
Roy Hodgson, who was in charge of his 1,038th game as a manager, having made his debut with Swedish side HalmstadsBK in 1976, believes his star man was entitled not to take a knee, having repeatedly fallen victim to racism more than once on social media.
Hodgson said about his Zaha: ”I read his statement which I thought was very well put together and very articulate and I think it is a statement all of us would agree.
“That basically is what we are trying to get across and we are trying to get it across by taking the knee, but Wilf is not alone in being a person who thinks maybe taking the knee has become a bit of a ritual rather than a massive statement.
“So he has chosen himself to take this step which puts him out of the bubble of the knee-takers if you like and a chance to make the statement he made to show how strongly he disapproves of what has been going on and what is still happening unfortunately in terms of abuse and racial abuse in particular. We are all behind that and he cleared it with the rest of the players.”