England set to take knee before Iceland and Denmark games

By Dom Farrell 2 September 2020 8
England set to take knee before Iceland and Denmark games

Mason Greenwood expects England's players to take a knee ahead of their Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark and hopes Premier League clubs will continue the protest against racial injustice and police brutality next season.

Wednesday marks 100 days since George Floyd was killed in police custody in Minneapolis – an event that sparked worldwide action and widespread support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Such matters have remained in the spotlight, especially in the aftermath of police in Wisconsin shooting Jacob Blake in the back seven times in an incident last month.

NBA and Major League Soccer teams went on strike in response and, speaking ahead of his prospective England debut, Greenwood said Gareth Southgate's players were likely to make the symbolic gesture of taking a knee over the coming week – something that was a mainstay of Premier League games following the coronavirus hiatus.

"It's changed massively, we've got the [Black Lives Matter] logo on the side or our shirts and we go on one knee before the game," the 18-year-old said, reflecting on the changing landscape since Floyd's death.

"As the Premier League we're just trying to send message to the whole world that it's important for everyone to know the reasons why.

"We don't want racism in football or anywhere, so it's good that the Premier League has tried to put a message out there.

"More than likely we’ll be doing that [in the Nations League games], it's a big thing in football and everyone notices it.

"A lot of people watch football and it sends a good message out there for everyone. For my part I'd like to see it next season as well."

The 2020-21 season will be Greenwood's first as an established first-team fixture at Old Trafford, following a stunning breakthrough campaign last time in which he scored 17 goals in all competitions.

His stunning two-footed finishing led to an England call-up, but he knows there will be tougher times ahead as the weight of expectation increases.

It is a phenomenon club team-mate Marcus Rashford has experienced and he had some words of wisdom for the youngster.

"He just said always go out with a smile on your face and don't really think about anything," Greenwood explained.

"You're playing for Man United. Not many people do that, so just go out there and work hard."

He added: "I'm fine to deal with [the expectation]. The pathway at United, you basically learn that when you come up through the youth system," he explained.

"I'm just happy for next season to come around."

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