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Kelly Smith Supports The United Kingdoms Choice To Take A Knee At The Olympics

Kelly Smith has criticised the “vile” racist abuse endured by England players following the Euro 2020 final, and believes it is the “proper thing” for Great Britain to take the knee at the Olympics.

Following their failure to convert spot-kicks in England’s penalty shoot-out loss to Italy at Wembley on Sunday, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka endured vitriol on social media.

“It was painful that we lost the final,” Smith told the PA news agency, “but there is absolutely no need for the disgusting language that came through to those three guys who gave everything, who placed everything on the line.”

They didn’t deserve any of it, and neither does anyone else.

During the Euro 2020 final, racial abuse was sent towards Bukayo Saka (shown), Jadon Sancho, and Marcus Rashford on social media (Mike Egerton/PA).

“I simply thought, it’s so simple for these (those posting abusive posts)…I think you saw the love they (the players) got after the Euros, with the mural (of Rashford in Withington that was vandalized before being covered in supporting letters)” (PA Wire).

“That gave me goosebumps because you could feel the nation’s affection for the England team, particularly those three players.”

For me, they are heroes.” Throughout the Euros, England players performed the anti-racism gesture of kneeling before games, and it was revealed on Thursday that the GB women’s football team will do the same at the Tokyo Olympics, which begin next week.

The International Olympic Committee has previously clarified that such gestures were acceptable on the field of play prior to the start of competition.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Smith said. “I think it’s the right thing to keep doing it, to keep raising awareness and putting it in the forefront of people’s thoughts, that it’s about equality and ending racism.”

“It’s a large, global event, another platform for players to show everyone stands together,” Smith said. Smith, who was a member of Great Britain’s Olympic team in London in 2012, took a knee before playing in the 2020 Soccer Aid for UNICEF match at Old Trafford.

“It doesn’t matter your skin color, whatever, it’s everyone being unified together,” the 42-year-old added about the gesture.

I’m all for it, and I’ll do everything I can to help.” Hege Riise’s GB team will open their Tokyo campaign against Chile on Wednesday, before facing Japan and then Canada in their remaining group games.

“It’s going to be quite difficult for them; the competition is very high,” Smith added.

With the quality they have in the group, I believe they can medal if they can get a little bit of a run going.

“I won’t say gold, silver, or bronze; any medal would suffice.”

But I’d love to see them reach the final and win, because it would be fantastic for the game in this country.

“With the new (Womens Super League) TV contract coming (next season), these players are already household names, and if they can medal and then be on BBC and Sky, it will simply elevate things to the next level again,” she said.

“After the rush and joy that we had with the Euros, I really hope the GB women’s team will galvanize the country again,” Smith said of the 2021 edition of Soccer Aid for UNICEF, which will be held at the Etihad Stadium in September. Smith has a record 46 goals for England Women and 125 for Arsenal.

Smith expressed his excitement by saying, “I’m excited.”

“It’s great to be back, perhaps with a near-sell-out stadium this time.”

I just want as many people to buy tickets as possible to assist raise as much money as possible.” :: Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2021 will take place at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, September 4th.

The funds earned from this year’s game will aid UNICEF in combating the Covid-19 pandemic by assisting in the delivery of two billion vaccines around the world.

Tickets can be purchased at

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