Scotland: Steve Clarke explains decision to stand instead of taking a knee

Scotland to take a stand in the wake of alleged racist abuse suffered by Rangers' Glen Kamara; Steve Clarke told Sky Sports News: "I think the knee when it was first proposed it was a really powerful symbol. It's maybe now become a little diluted"

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Scotland manager Steve Clarke hopes taking a stand rather than a knee will have an impact on the fight against racism

Scotland boss Steve Clarke says his team decided to stop taking a knee because the "powerful symbol" has become diluted.

The Scottish men's national team have said they will now stand in solidarity with the fight against racism ahead of this month's World Cup qualifiers.

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In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News, Clarke explained the decision: "Recent events and past events show that you have to keep changing people's mindsets about racism.

"I think the knee when it was first proposed and first taken was a really powerful symbol.

"It's maybe now become a little diluted, there's been some high profile cases recently, which shows the racism and the abuse is still there. It's not acceptable to anybody.

"And maybe just taking a stand as opposed to the knee will just waken everybody up to the fact that if we go to sleep it will never go away.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 14: Scotland's players line up during a Nations League match between Scotland and Czech Republic at Hampden Park, on October 14 2020, in Glasgow, Scotland (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group) 1:20
Scotland assistant head coach Steven Reid and defender Declan Gallagher are both in support of the national team's decision to stand rather than kneel in the fight against racism

"We have to keep confronting it, pushing forward and making sure that in years to come racism of any form is not acceptable."

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The Scottish game is uniting behind Glen Kamara, who reported being racially abused during Rangers' Europa League game against Slavia Prague last Thursday.

Celtic and Rangers chose to stand together against racism rather than take a knee prior to Sunday's Old Firm game.

And the Scottish FA's Equality and Diversity Advisory Board [EDAB] has announced a series of new board appointments, which it says are "designed to unite the game behind a common agenda to eradicate racism and all forms of discrimination, whilst promoting equality for all within the game".

Livingston midfielder Marvin Bartley and former Scotland midfielder Leanne Ross have joined as Scottish FA Equality Advisors and EDAB "are expected to initiate an online summit they hope will involve the biggest names and advocates for equality in Scottish football to champion meaningful change".

Scottish FA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell said: "The incident involving Glen Kamara at Ibrox last week demonstrates that society and football still has a lot of work to do to eradicate racism.

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Both Celtic and Rangers players were united as they opted to stand rather than take a knee before the Old Firm clash

"Scottish football's response shows the commitment to change and EDAB exists to be an agency for change, bringing consensus from across the game on all matters of equality and diversity.

"After witnessing the scenes last Thursday, we contacted Rangers immediately through our equality team to offer our support and guidance through a range of services and we aim to continue that dialogue with any club directly affected by these issues.

"Scottish football has helped raise awareness of the issue of racism by taking the knee throughout the season but there is an acknowledgement that more needs to be done than a gesture of support, especially in the increasing scourge of racist abuse to players via social media.

"Through our EDAB discussions we will explore ways of implementing meaningful change, with players at the centre of those discussions."

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