Arsenal won a smashing 0-4 win over Slavia Prague last night. But this Europa League quarterfinals clearing was not their only victory of the night – they won a moral victory too. The entire Arsenal team, including captain Alexandre Lacazette too the knee facing Slavia Prague.
Players have been taking the knee before matches since last year. They do so to promote the BLM movement, as a show of support in the fight against racism and discrimination.
Every team has been doing so in the Premier League, but in UEFA competitions, every club can decide on it.
So it is that Slavia Prague choose to link arms in a show of support instead.
Consequently, last night, while they huddled together standing, Lacazette took the knee facing Slavia Prague. Captain on the night, he looked directly at the Czech Republic outfit in this defiant act:
Him and his team even ensured beforehand with Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta that they could take a knee. Why was it so important to them?
Slavia recently saw defender Ondrej Kúdela banned after he was seemingly guilty of racially abusing opponents in the previous round.
Reports already said that Kúdela would not play this game owing to a suspension due to racial abuse.
He racially insulted Rangers’ player Glen Kamara and so he faces suspension for ten UEFA matches.
Footage, which can be seen here, shows Kudela covering his mouth and whispering something untoward in Kamara’s ear.