Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has defended left-back Marcos Alonso’s decision to stop taking the knee before matches.
The Spanish defender, who has instead been standing, explained how he will now point to the ‘No To Racism’ badge on his shirt in solidarity instead.
Alonso, 30, claimed the anti-racism gesture of taking a knee “is losing a bit of strength”, though the other Chelsea players are expected to continue the same form of protest as before.
And Blues boss Tuchel has announced his support for Alonso, insisting that his full-back is “absolutely committed against racism” despite his decision being somewhat controversial.
Tuchel said: “It wasn’t a discussion within the group but of course if a player takes a decision like this, we are not in a bubble, so of course discussions come up.
“The most important thing for me is that I know Marcos personally and I trust 1000 per cent that he is absolutely committed against racism, any form of racism.
“And there is no question about it. We are all against it. We took altogether the decision to take the knee.
“Maybe it takes sometimes an action against a routine to wake up again and have another good discussion and the discussion takes a new direction.
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“Because we want to do the most we can against racism and stand up against it. So there are different forms of doing it.
“Marcos took his decision, he’s a grown up, a responsible person. This is his decision and we accept it and he gave his reasons for it.
“And from here the discussion can end or it can go on in a productive way. The most important thing for me is that we live it every single day and this is what we do in Cobham.”
Premier League stars decided to start taking the knee in June 2020 in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha has been among those to echo Alonso’s sentiment, opting to stand last season as his own form of protest against discrimination.
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