Mike Tindall said he probably would not take the knee if he was still playing rugby for England because he does not ‘buy into’ the Black Lives Matter organisation.
Princess Anne’s son-in-law said in an interview that he would instead take a stance against racism ‘in my own way’, insisting he does ‘support the fight against racism for sure’.
The former-England rugby star also said he is relieved he didn’t have access to social media as a teenager, saying he sympathises with cricketer Ollie Robinson, 27, who was suspended over racist and sexist tweets he posted nearly a decade ago.
Mr Tindall said that while you ‘can’t condone what people have said’, it is ‘naive to think’ they cannot change – before admitting: ‘I would have said some stupid things when I was 18, without a shadow of a doubt.’
He also used his interview with the Daily Telegraph to pay tribute to the Royal Family for how ‘kind they’ve been’ welcoming him and his family in.
He said: ‘I’ve always felt part of it, and I think that’s down to what an amazing woman the Queen is.’
Mike Tindall (pictured) said he probably would not take the knee if he was still playing rugby for England because he doesn’t ‘buy into’ the BLM organisation
Princess Anne’s son-in-law said in an interview that he would instead take a stance against racism ‘in my own way’, insisting he does ‘support the fight against racism for sure’. Pictured: England and Scotland players taking the knee before their match last night
Taking the knee as a symbol of anti-racism solidarity gained attention in American football in 2016 as players protested against police brutality and racism in the US.
The act has since spread further and was adopted by football players in the UK partly to demonstrate that racism should not be tolerated in the sport.
But there have been incidents of some sections of the audience booing players as they take the knee before games
Mr Tindall said: ‘I support the fight against racism for sure. Would I necessarily take the knee? Realistically, I don’t generally buy into the actual organisation of Black Lives Matter.
‘If you read the website and go through it all. I just don’t like the organisation. So I would respect [the stance against] racism in my own way.’
On social media, Mr Tindall said he feels for cricketer Robinson who was suspended over tweets he made when he was a teenager.
Mr Tindall (pictured with his wife Zara and the Queen) also used his interview to pay tribute to the Royal Family for how ‘kind they’ve been’ welcoming him and his family in
The tweets – posted when Robinson was 18 and 19 and playing second team cricket for Kent, Leicestershire and Yorkshire – were dredged up from 2012 and 2013. Earlier he attended £24,750-a-year King’s School in Canterbury.
The Margate-born bowler apologised for his actions.
The former-rugby player – and husband of Princess Anne’s daughter Zara – said: ‘Look, you can’t condone what people have said but people can change, and it’s naive to think they can’t.
‘I would have said some stupid things when I was 18, without a shadow of a doubt.’
Last night, England and Scotland players were booed for taking a knee moments before kick-off in their hotly anticipated Euro 2020 encounter at Wembley.
Scotland’s players opted against taking the knee before their Euro 2020 opener against the Czech Republic on Monday, with both teams instead deciding to stand. They then decided to stand with England as a symbol of unity.
The former-England rugby star also said he is relieved he didn’t have access to social media as a teenager, saying he sympathises with cricketer Ollie Robinson, 27, (pictured) who was suspended over racist and sexist tweets he posted nearly a decade ago
Speaking of those plans, Scotland captain Andy Robertson said: ‘Our position was – and remains – that the focus must be on meaningful change to fight discrimination in football and wider society.
‘In Scotland, the football family has stood against racism all season. It was our collective view that the national team would do the same.
‘Our stance is that everyone, players, fans, teams, clubs, federations, governing bodies and governments must do more. Meaningful action is needed if meaningful change is to occur.
‘But it is also clear, given the events around the England national team, taking the knee in this tournament matters as a symbol of solidarity.’
England manager Gareth Southgate has already spoken out against fans booing taking a knee.
‘It’s not something on behalf of our black players I wanted to hear because it feels as though it’s a criticism of them,’ Southgate said after the Euro 2020 warm-up win over Romania.
England and Scotland players took a knee moments before kick-off in their Euro 2020 game
Scotland took a knee alongside England as a symbol of unity ahead of the game at Wembley
‘I think we have got a situation where some people seem to think it’s a political stand that they don’t agree with.
‘That’s not the reason the players are doing it. We’re supporting each other. I was pleased that was drowned out by the majority of the crowd.
‘We can’t deny the fact that it happened. I think the most important thing for our players to know is all their teammates and all the staff are very supportive. I think the majority of people understand it.
‘I think some people aren’t quite understanding the message. I suppose we’re seeing that across a number of football grounds at the moment.’
Boris Johnson told England fans not to boo the team for taking the knee.
A No 10 spokesman said the PM wants the public to ‘cheer them on, not boo’ ahead of Euro 2020 and explicitly supported those who decide to take part in the protest.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman had earlier declined to condemn those who booed players, only going so far as urging them to be ‘respectful’.
But Downing Street has now gone further to tell crowds not to jeer the national team after coming under pressure to take a firmer stance.
Asked if Mr Johnson backs players taking the knee, No 10 said: ‘Yes. The Prime Minister respects the right of all people to peacefully protest and make their feelings known about injustices.
‘The Prime Minister wants to see everybody getting behind the team to cheer them on, not boo.’