Wilfred Zaha becomes first EPL player not to Kneel before a game

Ivory Coast and Crystal Palace forward, Wilfried Armel Zaha on Saturday became the first player in EPL not to kneel before the kick-off a match.

He stood tall in the game against West Brom at Selhurst Park.

It has become a tradition for players to kneel in sports to tackle the fight against racism.

The player has called for greater efforts towards education on racial inequality saying social media companies should start taking “strong action” over racism.

According to Zaha: ” I feel like taking the knee is degrading because growing up my parent just let me know i shoukld be proud to be black no matter what and I feel like we should just stand tall.

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“There is no right or wrong decision, but I feel kneeling has just become a part of the pre-match routine and whether we kneel or stand, some of us continue to receive abuse.

“It’s becooming something that we just do now and thats not enough for me. I’m not going to take the knee, I’m not going to wear #BlackLivesMatter on the back of my shirt because it feels like it’s a target.

“We’re isolating ourselves, unless action is going to happen, don’t speak to me about.

“As a society, I feel we should be encouraging better education in schools, and social media companies should be taking strong action against people who abuse others online – not just footballers.

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” I recognise the work football is doing behind the scenes to tackle the issue, and I will always respect my teammates and those at other clubs who continue to take the knee.”

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