Japhet Tanganga has his say on the importance of taking the knee pre-match
This comes after the weekend where Milwall and Colchester fans booed their players for taking a knee in support of racial equality. There was also an event where a prominent Tottenham season ticket holder claimed that they would not renew should Spurs players continue to do the same.
Those who have voiced their opposition to the gesture have been censured. Meanwhile, Tanganga says players must continue to help highlight the issue.
“I think us as football players we have a duty to be a voice and show the world that these situations are still happening and that we are here to try and spread the word and let everyone know about what’s going on.”
Yesterday marked yet another incident where racism reared its ugly head. The match between PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir was suspended after the fourth official used a racist term to describe an Istanbul member of staff.
Whether the official is guilty of racial profiling or if he was the victim of cultural/lingual indifference remains to be seen. But officials and members in a position of authority should be educated regarding the sensitivity of the matter and show greater responsibility in tackling the issue.
A slow but steady fight?
A major takeaway from the match was how PSG and Istanbul players left the pitch together in protest against the official’s gesture. This at the very least shows that players are keen to tackle the issue on the pitch.
“I think what happened yesterday goes to show that players and teams are taking racism seriously and I think what they did was very good from both sides to support those who were in the incident.”
Tanganga also hailed Demba Ba for standing up to the official and his teammates for backing him. It appears Tanganga would have done no different had he been in the Senegalese star’s shoes.
“I think that’s a great act, a great show of support from his team.”
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Racism is an uncomfortable truth of how discrimination still exists today in our society. While it would be fanciful to suggest everyone to develop a moral compass, an effort should be made to educate the coming generations from repeating the mistakes of the old.
There is no reason why players should stop taking the knee before matches. Had disparity not existed in society, there would be no need for them to do so. Hopefully, these gestures will help bring about a positive change in society, one fan at a time.