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  • Top British diplomat says taking knee in protest ‘feels like symbol of subjugation’
  • “I understand people feel differently about it so it’s a matter of personal choice,” he said, adding that he’d only “take the knee for two people.”


(CNB News) – United Kingdom foreign secretary Dominic Raab on Thursday questioned the act of kneeling to protest racial injustice and police brutality, saying that it felt to him like a “symbol of subjugation and subordination.”

Speaking on the British radio show “Talk Radio,” Raab said that he understood the “sense of frustration and restlessness” from the Black Lives Matter movement. But he said that he couldn’t understand the meaning behind the act of kneeling, wondering whether it derived from the HBO series, “Game of Thrones.”

“I understand people feel differently about it so it’s a matter of personal choice,” he said, adding that he’d only “take the knee for two people.”

“The Queen and the misses when I asked her to marry me,” he said.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the National Anthem in 2016 to protest racial inequities in the U.S. The demonstration has since been replicated by hundreds of amateur and professional athletes as well at others in the ensuing years.

As protests swept the nation following the police killing of George Floyd, the act of kneeling has become a widely-used gesture to show support for the demonstrations. Police officers have taken a knee with protestors in several U.S. cities amid the unrest.

Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. took a knee in the Capitol earlier this month while paying homage to Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.

In Britain on Wednesday, players and coaches from Premier League teams took a knee in protest before participating in the first matches since the coronavirus outbreak suspended play. Players also wore jerseys with the message “Black Lives Matter” printed across the back.

Following his interview with “Talk Radio,” Raab tweeted that he has “full respect for the Black Lives Matter movement, and the issues driving them.”

“If people wish to take a knee, that’s their choice and I respect it. We all need to come together to tackle any discrimination and social injustice,” he said.

The comments had prompted backlash online and among officials in government. David Lammy, a British Labor MP, tweeted that the remarks were “insulting” to the Black Livers Matter movement and “deeply embarrassing.”

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