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Thomas Tuchel defends Marcos Alonso over decision to stop taking the knee

Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso believes the anti-racism gesture is “losing a bit of strength” and says he will now point to the No To Racism badge on his shirt sleeve

Soccer Aid stars take the knee before the match begins

Thomas Tuchel has defended Marcos Alonso’s right to stop taking the knee.

The Chelsea boss, whose men face Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night, has backed his defender who believes the anti-racism gesture is “losing a bit of strength”.

Alonso, 30, has instead been standing and says he will now point to the No To Racism badge on his shirt sleeve.

Asked whether he will have a new conversation with his players in light of his left-back’s comments, Tuchel said: “Actually there was no discussion between me and the players.

“I think the captains, if my information is right, of the Premier League teams agreed to keep on taking the knee before matches.



Marcos Alonso plans to point to the No To Racism badge while others take the knee
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Image:

REUTERS)




“But like I said before in a situation or in an agreement there must always be room for another opinion and the opinion is towards the same direction, against racism.

“So within these boundaries there cannot be any tolerance that anybody says ‘I am not against racism. This is unacceptable.

“But within this I think we have to accept and be open enough to allow discussions on how to maybe have more of an effect or maybe we can see it in a positive way.









“Things could be more calm if Marcos took the knee but he is an adult and we are living in a free world and he has tried also to explain his opinion. This is what he did and now you have to ask him or the discussion can go on.”

Players began taking the knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement after the Premier League’s 100-day hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic in June 2020.







Asked about the concern that Alonso’s stance could be hijacked by those wanting to reject the anti-racism movement, Tuchel added: “He was absolutely clear that he was against racism, there cannot be one interpretation in another way.

“This is what we are and this is what we stand for, what we live up to every single day and what we demand from everyone who wants to be part of this club. There is no other acceptable behaviour and mindset.”


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