Rio Ferdinand says fans who boo players taking the knee are ‘part of the problem’ of racism (Image: CAPTIAL RADIO/GETTY)
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Rio Ferdinand said fans who boo players taking the knee are "part of the problem" in racism.
In recent weeks, footballers have been taking the knee again before matches begin, but some fans have been caught booing the players who choose to do so.
A lot of the negative reactions came ahead of the friendly matches against Austria and Romania.
England players – and many other sports players around the world – take the knee as a gesture to highlight racial injustice.
"The players are disappointed," he said. "I would be disappointed, angry and upset with the fans."
He continued during an appearance on Capital Radio's Breakfast: "The people that are booing are part of the problem and all of this talk of 'oh, it's a political stance'. The players have told you, the managers have told you. It's not a political gesture.
Rio was disappointed at the fans
(Image: CAPTIAL RADIO)
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"It's not a political stance at all taking the knee. They want equality, they want justice. They want racism to be stamped out.
"That's what the knees about, it's not about any political stance at all. The sooner the fans understand that. Go to the stadium and cheer your team on, man."
It had been suggested that the booing comes from fans who believe the Black Lives Matter is political.
However, that has been explicitly rejected by both the players and boss Gareth Southgate.
England begins its Euros campaign on Sunday against Croatia.
He says it's not a political stance
(Image: CAPTIAL RADIO)
Rio recently took to his FIVE YouTube channel to explain why the "ignorant" fans are wrong about their pointless booing.
He told his channel: "These fans, these ignorant people going to these games, they haven't got a clue.
"They don't know what the players are kneeling for. It's not a political stance.
"All these people saying, 'BLM is a political movement' – [the knee] is nothing to do with [BLM]. So take that out of your mind.
Marcus Rashford takes a knee before the match between England and Romania
"The players, the manager are telling you, 'This is not a political campaign, the reason why we kneel is nothing to do with politics'.
"This stance is about racism, about people being treated the right way and respectfully, and not based on the colour of their skin.
"There is no valid reason for booing. They're meant to be here helping the team, pushing them along.
"The players' narrative around this is nothing to do with politics so please just support this team, support these players.
"They don't want injustice, they don't want people to be judged off the colour of their skin. And they're kneeling because of that. So why are you booing?"