Dominic Raab Thinks Taking A Knee Is 'From Game Of Thrones'

Foreign secretary also said he feels the Black Lives Matter gesture is "a symbol of subjugation and subordination".

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Dominic Raab has said he has “full respect” for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, after revealed he thought the gesture of taking a knee was inspired by Game of Thrones.

In an interview with Talk Radio on Thursday morning, the foreign secretary said he thought the anti-racism stance was “a symbol of subjugation and subordination”.

Labour branded his suggestion that taking a knee was “taken from Game of Thrones” as “deeply embarrassing”.

Taking a knee became the widespread symbol of protest after NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the US national anthem in 2016 to highlight racial inequality.

Raab said today: “I understand this sense of frustration and restlessness which is driving the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I only take the knee for two people: the Queen and the Mrs when I asked her to marry me.

“I’ve got to say on this taking the knee thing, maybe it’s got a broader history, it seems to be taken from Game of Thrones.

“It feels to me like a symbol of subjugation and subordination rather than a symbol of liberation and emancipation.”

David Lammy, Labour’s shadow justice secretary, said Raab’s comments were “deeply embarrassing” and “insulting” to BLM.

“He is supposed to be the foreign secretary of the United Kingdom,” Lammy tweeted.

Raab later tweeted he had “full respect” for the BLM movement. “If people wish to take a knee, that’s their choice and I respect it”.

Downing Street said Raab was giving a “personal opinion” during the interview.

Asked whether anyone in No 10. had spoken to him about sending a tweet clarifying his remarks, the prime minister’s spokesperson said: “I am certainly not aware of the prime minister speaking with the foreign secretary this morning.”

The spokesperson said he did not know whether anyone else in No 10 had spoken to Raab.

Premier League players last night took a knee before kick-off at Aston Villa versus Sheffield United and Manchester City against Arsenal in support of BLM.

It followed widespread protests across the world following the killing of George Floyd.

Hector Bellerin of Arsenal takes knee in support of Black Live Matter before the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal FC.
Hector Bellerin of Arsenal takes knee in support of Black Live Matter before the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal FC.
David Price via Getty Images

Floyd, a Black man, was killed in Minneapolis last month when a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for almost nine minutes.

In a separate interview this morning, Raab said the UK should be careful not to “airbrush” its history, but should “update” it, amid the row over statues.

“But one thing I do accept is that people will think that we ought to keep updating our history, and make sure the symbols reflect the spirit and the values of the age,” he said

Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, Raab also referred to the global protest movement as “Black Lives Matters”.

The governing body of Oxford University’s Oriel College has voted to remove the controversial statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes.


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