England boss Gareth Southgate has insisted that they are “more determined” than ever to take the knee ahead of the European Championships.
Some fans booed when players made the anti-racism stance before Wednesday’s warm-up match against Austria at the Riverside Stadium.
Three Lions boss Southgate said at a press conference ahead of Sunday’s game against Romania at the same venue: “The first thing is we are collectively really disappointed it (the booing) happened.
“Some people decide to boo – I think those people should put themselves in the shoes of those young players and how that must feel, and if that was their children, how would they feel about their kids being in that sort of situation.
“The most important thing for our players is to know that we are totally united on it, we’re totally committed to supporting each other, supporting the team.
“We feel more than ever determined to take the knee through this tournament. We accept there might be an adverse reaction and we’re just going to ignore that and move forward.
“I think the players are sick of talking about the consequences of should they, shouldn’t they. They’ve had enough really. As far as I’m concerned they are not going to take more questions on this through the tournament. If it happens, it happens. They’re very clear. Their voices have been heard loud and clear.
“They are making their stand but they want to talk about the football and want the focus to be on the football.”
England boss Southgate was joined at the press conference by midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who said he had felt “confused and disappointed” by the booing, adding: “I think I was just happy that the boos got cancelled out by the fans cheering in the end, but I don’t think it’s a great situation, especially for us players.
“All we can do is just focus on the game and speak about it afterwards. And I think the team spoke about it together and we came up with the conclusion that, regardless of what goes on around, we’re still going to participate in the kneeling and I think that’s a great idea.”