Thomas Tuchel hopes Marcos Alonso’s decision not to take the knee will spark a fresh debate about the issue of racism after Chelsea defender said pre-match gesture was ‘maybe losing its strength’
- Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso has decided to no longer take the knee before games
- Spanish defender suggested the anti-racism gesture was ‘losing its strength’
- Instead, Alonso prefers pointing to the No Room For Racism badge on sleeve
- Manager Thomas Tuchel hopes his decision will inspire fresh discussion
- Chelsea host Aston Villa in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday
Thomas Tuchel believes players opting not to take the knee may lead to fresh debate about the battle against racism.
Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso has joined Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha and Brentford’s Ivan Toney as Premier League players who stand rather than kneel ahead of kick-off.
Players have been taking the knee since Project Restart in June 2020 with Alonso claiming ‘maybe it’s losing its strength’.
Chelsea will respect Marcos Alonso’s decision to stop taking the knee, Thomas Tuchel has said
Tuchel, who will again be without goalkeeper Edouard Mendy for Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup tie against Aston Villa, said: ‘Maybe it takes sometimes an action against a routine to wake up again and have another good discussion.
‘And the discussion can only be in one direction because all of us have the same point — we all want to do the most against racism.
‘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.
Chelsea have been taking the knee before games, along with other clubs, since Project Restart
‘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.
‘He was absolutely clear that he was against racism. There cannot be one interpretation [of what he said] in another way and this is what we are, what we stand for, what we live up for 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.’