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Tyrone Mings says Priti Patel is two-faced in backing England knee-booers


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England defender Tyrone Mings has accused Priti Patel of being duplicitous in her support of people booing players taking the knee.

Before Sunday's 1-0 win over Croatia, England players were again booed by a section of their own support as they took the knee in opposition to racism.

The boos were drowned out by applause, but it continued a sorry pattern around England games this summer. Both friendlies at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium pre-tournament were marred by a vocal minority in the stands.

They've no doubt been emboldened by the British Home Secretary who told upstart organisation GB News, "I just don’t support people participating in that type of gesture, gesture politics, to a certain extent, as well.”

“It’s all well to support a cause and make your voices heard,” she told broadcaster GB News.

“But actually, quite frankly, and we saw last year in particular with some of the protests that took place, I speak now very much from what I saw in the impact on policing.

“It was devastating.

“Not only that, I just don’t subscribe to this view that we should be rewriting our history, pulling down statues, the famous Colston statue, and what’s happened there."

Patel was referring to the removal of a statue of Edward Colston in Bristol last year. Colston was a member of the Royal African Company (RAC) who in the 17th century held a monopoly on the slave trade.

Patel's inflammatory remarks were put to Mings ahead of Friday's Euro 2020 clash with Scotland.

The Aston Villa defender accused her of speaking out of both sides of her mouth.

"To the Home Secretary, I don't really have a direct message," Mings said, "We spoke, and she invited me onto her Zoom call once.

"Where she seemed so interested and engrossed in players' point-of-view, and what we could do more to tackle these sort of issues.

"But, at the same time, everybody's entitled to their own opinion and the Home Secretary is one of many many people that oppose us taking the knee, or refuse to defend it.

"We have our own set of beliefs, and what we think we can do to help or be players that can be influential and can stand up for what we believe in.

"And understandably when you have such strong beliefs, there will be opposition to that.

"We've spoken about it a lot. We've spoken about trying to educate, or trying to inform, the minority who refuse to acknowledge why we're taking the knee and want to boo it.

"But, at the same time, in Wembley there was a hugely positive reaction to us taking the knee as well, and I don't think that should be overshadowed by the minority that refuse to accept what the reasons are or don't agree with them."

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