Marcos Alonso follows his decision to STOP taking the knee as Chelsea defender stands ahead of Premier League clash with rivals Man City… days after Thomas Tuchel said Blues would ‘respect’ his opinion
- Marcos Alonso revealed he would no longer kneel for competitions
- The gesture was introduced for Project Restart as a strong stance against racism
- But Chelsea defender Alonso believes kneeling is now ‘losing a little strength’
- Spaniard stood still ahead of Chelsea’s clash with rivals Manchester City
Marcos Alonso has kept his promise not to continue with knee problems ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League games.
The Spanish fullback recently expressed his view that the gesture, made in solidarity with football’s anti-racism movement, has lost its value and is no longer necessary for matches.
Manager Thomas Tuchel had said Chelsea would respect Alonso’s decision to stop taking the knee, and the defender was seen just before kick-off at Stamford Bridge on Saturday when all his team-mates took to the grass around him.
Marcos Alonso (right) stopped for Chelsea’s kick-off against Manchester City
Alonso revealed that he would instead choose to fight racism in a different way before the games, joining a handful of players who have also stopped kneeling.
And in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, boss Tuchel explained that Alonso’s choice was respected and insisted that his defender is still firmly against discrimination.
“It’s not a discussion in the group, but when a player makes such a decision, we are of course not in a bubble,” Tuchel said.
Chelsea will respect Marcos Alonso’s decision to stop taking the knee, said Thomas Tuchel
“The most important thing for me is that I know Marcos personally and have 1000 percent confidence that he is committed to fighting racism.
“There’s no doubt about it. We are all against it.
“Marcos has made his decision and it is a decision we accept. He gave his reasons and from here the discussion can end, or continue in a productive way to do more.”
Boss Tuchel confident Alonso is ‘1000 percent’ against racism and accepts defender’s choice
He then added: ‘Once you do a gesture, everyone does it, then it becomes normal. Maybe it lessens its effect. if this is [Marcos’] point, I see.
‘We can discuss. He is quite aware of it. He is experienced and responsible enough. Being against racism should be normal.
“I understand that Marcos thinks there is more to it, this is correct.
‘We have to use the platform and the possibilities we have together, perform together, by leading by example.’
Chelsea have mastered the games, along with other clubs, since Project Restart
Before the start of the new season, top players agreed to continue their stance, which began last year during Project Restart.
However, Alonso now stands before the first whistle, with Wilfried Zaha and Ivan Toney also taking a different stance.
Crystal Palace talisman Zaha called the act “humiliating”, while Brentford striker Toney said players were being used “like puppets” when taking the knee.
“I am completely against racism and any form of discrimination,” Alonso said.
Wilfried Zaha and Ivan Toney Revealed They Would No Longer Kneel either
“I just prefer to put my finger on the decal where it says no to racism, like they do in other sports and football in other countries.
“Maybe it’s losing a bit of power the other way around, so I’d rather do it this way and show I’m fully behind it.”
Alonso also believes none of his Chelsea team-mates have a problem with his decision, saying: “We haven’t talked about it. We are like a family.
‘I have a very good relationship with everyone. If I need to speak to anyone, I will say the same as I told you and I don’t think there will be any problems.’