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Opinion

Survey results released Sunday – Do public support England players taking the knee?

1 month ago
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Only hours before the opening group match against Croatia, a new survey has released results on whether the public support England players taking the knee before kick-off.

The results showing that less than half (48%) the football fans in England surveyed supported the taking the knee by the national team, whilst 27% opposed.

However, when it comes to all those surveyed, including non-football fans, it remains at 27% opposed to it but only 40% of the general public supporting England players taking the knee.

Rather bizarrely (to me anyway), 30% of football fans in England support the booing of England players taking the knee, whilst 51% oppose it.

Findings of the Ipsos MORI poll on whether public support England players taking the knee:

Almost half of football fans in England support the England team taking the knee at Euro 2020. One in four opposed.

An new Ipsos MORI poll surveyed 783 football fans in England on June 8th and 9th this week as part of a wider survey of 2,083 Britons aged 16-75.

Key findings included:

Almost half (48%) of football fans in England would support the England team taking the knee at Euro 2020, with just over one in four opposed (27%).

However, three in ten (30%) football fans in England would support fans choosing to boo the team for taking the knee at the Euros. Although half (51%) oppose fans booing the knee.

Almost half (48%) of football fans in England think that fans booing the knee would have a negative impact on the fight against racism in football.

Findings in full:

48% of football fans in England support the England team taking the knee at Euro 2020. 27% oppose.

We asked those fans supporting the knee why they did so. The top three reasons given were ‘it is an important message in the fight against racism’ (57%), ‘because racism is still a serious problem in Britain’ (57%) and ‘to show solidarity with Black players and Black people in the UK and elsewhere’ (52%.) On a list of 9 reasons, ‘the Black Lives Matter movement represents a political ideology I support’ was down in 8th (27% – so not a strong factor compared to others),

Most commonly cited arguments against the knee among those fans in opposition were ‘There should be no political statements made during football matches’ (52%), ‘the players have made their point but should stop now’ (46%) and ‘the Black Lives Matter movement represents a political ideology that I oppose’ (42%), (Note – longer list of reasons for and against in the accompanying slides)

Amongst the British public overall 40% support the England team taking the knee at the Euros and 27% oppose (more because non-football fans are less likely to have an opinion rather than they are more likely to oppose).

However, 3 in 10 football fans in England support fans booing the players taking the knee during the tournament (30%). Although half oppose (51%).

Amongst the British public overall 21% support the booing, 51% oppose.

Almost half (48%) of football fans in England think that England fans booing the team for kneeling during the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament will have a negative impact on the fight against racism in football. 21% think it will have a positive impact.

28% say the impact will be neither positive, nor negative. Others don’t know or don’t think there is racism.

The most common emotion that football fans in England say they would feel if they attended an England match at Euro 2020 and the players took the knee is pride. 32% said they would feel ‘proud’.

Among Britons overall, 28% would feel proud, rising to 59% amongst those that support the gesture of taking the knee.

The most common emotions that football fans in England say they would feel if they were at an England match at Euro 2020 and the fans booed the players taking the knee were ‘ashamed’ (33%), ‘uncomfortable’ (32%) and ‘embarrassed’ (28%).

Among Britons overall, 34% would feel uncomfortable and 33% ashamed. The proportion of those ashamed rising to 54% amongst those Britons that oppose the booing of the knee.

However, amongst Britons overall that support the booing, the most common emotions anticipated in response are that 25% would feel ‘satisfied’ and 22% ‘happy’.

Football fans in England are more likely to back England to go all the way at the Euros than any other country. With 28% saying they expect England to win the tournament. 19% say France and 11% Germany.

Ipsos MORI Research Director Keiran Pedley said of the findings:

“In general, football fans in England are much more likely to support the England team taking the knee at the Euros than oppose. There is a significant minority that do oppose, in fact 3 in 10 football fans support those that boo the team for kneeling. That being said, many more fans oppose the booing and express feelings of shame, embarrassment and discomfort in response. Strikingly, almost half of football fans in England think the booing will negatively impact the fight against racism in football, posing the question of what the long-term implications of such events might be for the game’.

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