Why Wigan Athletic man won't be 'taking a knee' any more

Wigan Athletic star Tendayi Darikwa has opened up on why he has decided to stop ‘taking a knee’ before matches.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 1:44 pm
Tendayi Darikwa

Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha was the first high-profile player to speak out against the pre-match gesture, which shows solidarity for the global ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

And the Latics defender agrees it’s time for real action against continued race hate, rather than hollow gestures.

“Everyone’s entitled to take a knee or not, depending on their own point of view,” he said.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I’ve decided not to because I just feel the authorities, and especially the social media companies, are not doing enough to stamp it out.

“Since the whole thing started, I think if anything social media’s got worse, a lot more players are being racially abused, it’s continuing to happen.

“Until they start to clamp down on it, I’m not going to be a part of it.

“Obviously I have team-mates who take the knee, and that’s absolutely fine, I remain fully supportive of their right to do so.

“But my own personal thoughts are...we’re taking the knee...for what reason?

“The authorities and social media companies are still allowing people to go online and racially abuse people.

“Until they start to take a different approach, and take matters into their own hands more, it’s not something I’m going to do.

“If taking the knee was about bringing about a change...well, nothing’s changed up to now.”

Darikwa's stance comes as England players discuss whether they will collectively 'take a knee' before their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

While FIFA are against political issues being pushed in football, the matches now fall under the jurisdiction of UEFA - who have a more relaxed stance.

And Aston Villa's Tyrone Mings sees no reason not to continue the gesture.

“This is a demonstration of the injustices that different races within football have felt," he said.

"We have t-shirt campaigns, but to say we've unified the sport in a pre-game anti-racism message is so powerful and is something we shouldn't let go.

"I haven't heard one substantial argument as to why we should stop it. I've heard it's lost its power and I think, who have you spoken to, to say that it's lost its power?"

Manchester City’s John Stones added: “We've got such a platform to be able to express to the world, to people around the world, our views, our strong views, and we definitely want to do that."

Get 20% off our sports subscription package and stay up to date with all the latest Wigan Athletic news with a year’s subscription to WiganToday for less than 9p a day. Use promo code TRANSFER20