“It wasn’t a discussion within the group…”
Thomas Tuchel has defended Marcos Alonso’s decision to stop taking the knee before Chelsea matches.
Blues defender Alonso has explained he will continue to stand and point to the ‘No To Racism’ badge on his shirt, insisting taking the knee has lost some of its impact.
And now Chelsea boss Tuchel has thrown his support behind the Spanish full-back, insisting that the 30-year-old is “absolutely committed against racism”.
Chelsea’s other players are expected to continue to take the knee, but manager Tuchel is confident Alonso’s motives are solely positive in the fight against discrimination.
Thomas Tuchel on Marcos Alonso
“It wasn’t a discussion within the group but of course if a player takes a decision like this, we are not in a bubble, so of course discussions come up,” said Tuchel.
“The most important thing for me is that I know Marcos personally and I trust 1000 per cent that he is absolutely committed against racism, any form of racism.
“And there is no question about it. We are all against it. We took altogether the decision to take the knee.
“Maybe it takes sometimes an action against a routine to wake up again and have another good discussion and the discussion takes a new direction.
“Because we want to do the most we can against racism and stand up against it. So there are different forms of doing it.
“Marcos took his decision, he’s a grown up, a responsible person. This is his decision and we accept it and he gave his reasons for it.
“And from here the discussion can end or it can go on in a productive way.
“The most important thing for me is that we live it every single day and this is what we do in Cobham.”
Footballers taking the knee
Crystal Palace and Ivory Coast winger Wilfried Zaha has also stopped taking the knee, having said towards the end of last season that he found it “degrading”.
Zaha said: “I feel like we should stand tall and now I don’t really tend to speak on racism and stuff like that because I’m not here just to tick boxes.