Black Lives Matter UK has sided with soccer Wilfried Zaha after he made comments regarding protests during the national anthem. During a recent interview, Zaha made the argument that simply taking a knee during the national anthem is not enough. He went to make the claim that certain players are taking a knee to "tick boxes" and not bringing about real change.
"The whole kneeling down -- why must I kneel down for you to show that we matter," Zaha said during a recent appearance on On The Judy.
"When people constantly want to get me to do Black Lives Matter talks and racial talks and I'm like, I'm not doing it just so you can put 'Zaha spoke for us.' Like a tick box, basically."
Ultimately, Zaha wants to push beyond taking a knee before the anthem. He hopes that he can use his platform to push for reform and kickstart community initiatives. Adding on, he says that he is through being used to make political statements for others.
"I'm not doing anymore because unless things change, I'm not coming to chat to you just for the sake of it, like all the interviews I've done," he explained.
Zaha's comments earned the support of Black Lives Matter UK. In a series of tweets, the organization expressed that they agree that symbolic gestures are not enough to bring about change for marginalized communities.
"We are grateful for the symbolic gestures of solidarity but let's not mistake them for real change," the organization tweeted.
"That is why we are distributing £600,000 ($840,000) to organizations that will fight racism."
Zaha is the first major soccer player to declare that he will stop taking a knee before games. It is unclear if other players will follow his lead.
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