Marcos Alonso follows through on his decision to STOP taking the knee as Chelsea defender stands prior to Premier League showdown with rivals Man City… days after Thomas Tuchel said Blues would ‘respect’ his opinion
- Marcos Alonso revealed he would no longer be taking the knee before matches
- The gesture was introduced for Project Restart as a firm stance against racism
- But Chelsea defender Alonso believes kneeling is now ‘losing a bit of strength’
- Spaniard remained standing prior to Chelsea’s clash with rivals Manchester City
Marcos Alonso has followed through on his pledge not to continue taking the knee prior to Chelsea’s Premier League matches.
The Spanish full-back recently offered his opinion that the gesture, made in solidarity with football’s anti-racism movement, has lost its value and is no longer necessary before matches.
Manager Thomas Tuchel had said Chelsea would respect Alonso’s decision to stop taking the knee, and the defender was seen standing moments before kick-off at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, as all of his team-mates around him took to the turf.
Marcos Alonso (right) remained standing prior to the kick-off against Manchester City
Alonso revealed he would instead choose to combat racism in a different way before matches, joining a handful of players who have also stopped kneeling.
And in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, boss Tuchel explained that Alonso’s choice has been respected and insisted his defender is still firmly against discrimination.
‘It’s not a discussion in the group but of course if a player takes a decision like this, we’re not in a bubble,’ Tuchel said.
Chelsea will respect Marcos Alonso’s decision to stop taking the knee, Thomas Tuchel has said
‘The most important thing for me is I know Marcos personally and trust 1000 per cent that he is committed against racism.
‘There is no question about it. We are all against it.
‘Marcos took his decision, and it’s a decision we accept. He gave his reasons and from here, the discussion can end, or can go on in a productive way to do more.’
Boss Tuchel trusts Alonso is ‘1000 per cent’ against racism and accepts the defender’s choice
He then went on to add: ‘Once you do a gesture, everybody does it, it becomes normal. Maybe it lowers the effect of it. If this is [Marcos’] point, I can see it.
‘We can discuss. He is pretty aware of it. He’s experienced and responsible enough. Being against racism should be normal.
‘I understand that Marcos thinks there is more to do, this is right.
‘We need to use the platform and possibilities we have together, performances together, by living by example.’
Chelsea have been taking the knee before games, along with other clubs, since Project Restart
Before the start of the new season, top-flight players agreed to continue their stance, which began during Project Restart last year.
Alonso, however, will instead remain standing before the first whistle, with Wilfried Zaha and Ivan Toney also adopting a different viewpoint.
Crystal Palace talisman Zaha had called the act ‘degrading’, while Brentford striker Toney said players were being ‘used as puppets’ when taking the knee.
‘I am fully against racism and every type of discrimination,’ Alonso said.
Wilfried Zaha and Ivan Toney have revealed they would no longer be taking the knee either
‘I just prefer to put my finger to the badge where it says no to racism, like they do in other sports and football in other countries.
‘Maybe it’s losing a bit of strength the other way, so I just prefer to do it this way and to show I am fully supportive.’
Alonso also believes none of his team-mates at Chelsea have a problem with his decision, saying: ‘We haven’t talked about it. We are like a family.
‘I have a very good relationship with everyone. If I have to speak to anyone I will say the same as I told you and I don’t think there will be any problems.’