Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace Star Wilfried Zaha Becomes First Premier League to Not Take The Knee Before Kickoff vs West Brom

By Amreen
Wilfried Zaha did not take a knee at Selhurst Park before the meeting with West Brom
Wilfried Zaha did not take a knee at Selhurst Park before the meeting with West Brom / Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha has become the first Premier League player to not take a knee as he chose to stand prior to kickoff against West Brom on Saturday.

Zaha had revealed that he would refrain from a knee in matches going forward, saying: "My decision to stand at kick-off has been public knowledge for a couple of weeks now.

“There is no right or wrong decision, but for me personally I feel kneeling has just become a part of the pre-match routine and at the moment it doesn’t matter whether we kneel or stand, some of us still continue to receive abuse.

“I know there is a lot of work being done behind the scenes at the Premier League and other authorities to make change and I fully respect that and everyone involved. I also full respect my teammates and players at other clubs who continue to take the knee. As a society, I feel we should be encouraging better education in schools, and social media companies should be taking stronger action against people abuse others online – not just footballers.

“I know just want to focus on football and enjoy being back playing on the pitch. I will continue to stand tall.”

Last month, an enraged Zaha insisted that he would not wear the Black Lives Matter slogan shirt, saying ‘it feels like it’s a target’. Championship side Brentford have also stopped taking the knee before matches with striker Ivan Toney explaining the decision.

"We have had a long discussion about that; why we are not taking a knee," he told Sky Sports. "Everyone has had their say, and everyone agrees [that] we have been taking the knee for however long now and still nothing has changed. "We are kind of being used as puppets, in my eyes; take the knee and the people at the top can rest for a while now, which is pretty silly and pretty pointless. Nothing is changing."