‘If they take a knee, turn off the TV’ trends on Twitter in Spain as fans at home prepare to BOYCOTT Euro 2020 if their stars follow England’s lead with Black Lives Matter act against Sweden
Spanish football fans have threatened to boycott their team’s Euro 2020 matches if the players follow in England’s footsteps and take a knee before kick-off.
Spain’s national team have never taken part in the Black Lives Matter gesture previously, but there are seemingly some concerns among the fanbase that they will follow the likes of England ahead of their first game against Sweden tonight.
Such is the worry among Spain’s fans, the phrase ‘if they take a knee, turn off the TV’ – in Spanish: #SiSeArrodillanApagaLaTele – was trending across the country on Monday morning.
Spain’s squad are currently preparing for their first Euro 2020 match against Sweden tonight
Some Spain fans are hoping that the players do not take a knee ahead of their opener
One fan, alongside the phrase, noted: ‘We Spaniards just kneel before God,’ while another wrote that only when going into battle do Spaniards get down on one knee.
Elsewhere, another national team fan labelled any players who kneeled a ‘traitor’ and said they would never play for Spain again.
Despite that, in a recent YouGov poll it was revealed that there was a 71-22 split in support for the knee among Spain’s fans, one of the highest across Europe.
Only Portugal and Italy polled higher in their support for the anti-racism gesture, which was applauded by the majority of England fans at Wembley on Sunday too.
While some boos could initially be heard among the Three Lions supporters, they were quickly drowned out by cheers from the rest of the crowd.
In Spanish football, clubs have tended not to take the knee in LaLiga matches and it has not been as big a campaign there as it has in England.
While some LaLiga players have taken individual stances, there has not been a league-wide decision made and Spain have made no statement on whether their players will take a knee at Euro 2020.
Earlier this season, Real Madrid did not take the knee against Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester City in the Champions League, while Villarreal also stayed standing against Manchester United in the Europa League final.
Adama Traore is among only three non-white players in the Spain squad for the tournament
Winger Traore regularly took the knee for Wolves in the Premier League last season
When Granada played Manchester United in the same competition, only Brazil winger Kenedy – formerly of Chelsea – took the knee.
At the Euros, meanwhile, Poland held a team meeting on Monday morning to discuss whether the players wanted to take part in the anti-racism gesture.
Among the Spain squad, the majority of their 26-man group is white, with Adama Traore, Robert Sanchez and Thiago Alcantara the only players not falling into that bracket.
Wolves’ Traore has Malian parents, while Sanchez is mixed-race with an English father and Spanish mother, while Thiago is of Latin American heritage.
Spain are one of the big favourites to win the tournament, and face Sweden on Monday night
England players were cheered by most of the Wembley crowd as they took the knee on Sunday