June 11, 2020 / 3:51 AM / 23 days ago

Palace's van Aanholt prepared to take a knee when Premier League resumes

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Crystal Palace v Newcastle United - Selhurst Park, London, Britain - February 22, 2020 Crystal Palace's Patrick van Aanholt celebrates after the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

(Reuters) - Crystal Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt says he will join the chorus of outrage from athletes protesting the death of a black man in Minneapolis by taking a knee before the club’s English Premier League game against Bournemouth on June 20.

Video footage showed a white police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, 46, for nearly nine minutes before he died on May 25, triggering outrage and protests across the world.

Premier League clubs have posed taking a knee akin to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who popularised the gesture as a way to protest racial issues, and Aanholt, 29, says he is ready to follow suit.

“I’m prepared to do it, 100%. They’ve done it in Germany and Premier League teams have done it in training. We have a platform and as a global sport, we have to come together,” Aanholt told Sky Sports.

The Dutch full-back echoed Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling’s call for increased representation of ethnic minorities in coaching positions, but said he does not plan to take up a managerial role in the future.

“I don’t know if I want to be a coach yet. Ashley Cole is trying. Clarence Seedorf got his badges then got sacked at AC Milan. Many black coaches have to start from the bottom and again, I don’t know why,” Aanholt added.

The Premier League will restart on June 17 after a three-month stoppage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Palace are 11th in the standings.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

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