British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab sparked mockery and dismay by suggesting the anti-racism protest of taking the knee was a symbol of “subjugation” that originated with “Game of Thrones”.
Premier League footballers took a knee on Wednesday evening in solidarity with demonstrations across the world sparked by the killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, by US police.
“I understand this sense of frustration and restlessness which is driving the Black Lives Matter movement,” Raab told Talk Radio when asked about the incident. “I’ve got to say, on this taking the knee thing, which I don’t know, maybe it’s got a broader history but it seems to be taken from (hit TV show) the Game of Thrones.
“It feels to me like a symbol of subjugation and subordination rather than one of liberation and emancipation.
“But I understand people feel differently about it so it’s a matter of personal choice.”
He added: “I take the knee for two people, the queen and the Mrs (his wife) when I asked her to marry me.” Opposition Labour lawmakers were incredulous.
“’Taking the knee’ began in 2016 with American athletes refusing to stand for the US national anthem,” said Diane Abbott, who in 1987 became Britain’s first female black MP and still serves in the House of Commons.
“They were protesting police brutality and racism. But @DominicRaab thinks it comes from Game of Thrones!!!”