Crystal Palace defender speaks exclusively to SSN about Black Lives Matter, the death of George Floyd and fighting racism
Wednesday 10 June 2020 21:07, UK
Patrick van Aanholt says he is "100 per cent prepared" to take a knee in his first game back in the Premier League.
The defender has told Sky Sports News he has been left "hurt" and "upset" by the death of George Floyd, who was killed after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds in Minneapolis on May 25.
Van Aanholt has been vocal in his support for anti-racist movements that have followed and has been in an ongoing Twitter argument with media personality Katie Hopkins.
He has now revealed he is ready to continue protests when the Premier League returns by taking a knee ahead of kick-off in Crystal Palace's first game back against Bournemouth on June 20.
Van Aanholt was speaking ahead of a nationwide 'take a knee' protest across the UK at 6.00pm on Wednesday evening.
In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News, Van Aanholt also says:
"It's good to see so much unity from black and white people. It's good to get so much love and support."
"I'm not going to lie, I was very upset. To think this is still going on in 2020 is crazy. Why is racism still a conversation in 2020? We are all one. It hurts me. It upsets me."
"I've been lucky. I didn't have much. For me it has been okay, I've been blessed but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. We all need to support each other."
"I'm prepared to do it, 100 per cent. They've done it in Germany and [Premier League] teams have done it in training. We have a platform and as a global sport, we have to come together."
The act has become a symbol of fighting racial injustice in the United States since 2016 when NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to raise awareness of police brutality.
President Donald Trump has maintained criticism of athletes for taking part in the protest, accusing them of "disrespecting the flag", but following Floyd's death 'taking a knee' has re-emerged as a mainstream form of anti-racism protest beyond sport.
Kaepernick has been unable to find a team since he began the protest.
The NFL has now admitted it was wrong for "not listening to players earlier" and that it will "encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest".
"We admit we were wrong," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
"Everyone has, not just the players. The manager has... the whole club. The white players are asking... how can we help?"
"I grew up in a family of six. Four sisters, one brother. I moved to England at a young age so it was different, unlike other Dutch players as I had to get used to a different culture."
"I don't know. I had Chris Hughton, he was a great manager. I haven't had any other black coaches in my career."
"A little bit, yeah. I don't know if I want to be a coach yet. Ashley Cole is trying. Seedorf got his badges then got sacked at AC Milan. I don't know why. Many black coaches have to start from the bottom and again, I don't know why."
"Yeah. By reading more and seeing more you understand and do more. It's good we are all together now and coming together and seeing just how serious this is."
"Very good. We knew with his age he was high risk but he's missed us all. He still takes the training. Even during lockdown, he contacted everyone. It's so nice to be back."
"Hopefully not. I want my children to have a normal life and not face racism and their children's children. As I said, this is 2020 and we are talking about racism. It's gone too far."