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Taking a knee: UK Foreign Secretary criticised for 'Game of Thrones' remarks

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By Euronews with AP
Britain's Foreign secretary made the comments during an interview with talkRADIO on Thursday.
Britain's Foreign secretary made the comments during an interview with talkRADIO on Thursday.   -   Copyright  Frank Augstein/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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Dominic Raab has faced strong criticism after suggesting that taking a knee appeared to be from the HBO television series, Game of Thrones.

The UK Foreign Secretary also suggested that the gesture was a symbol of submission in an interview with talkRADIO.

"It feels to me like a symbol of subjugation and subordination, rather than one of liberation and emancipation,'' Raab said on Thursday.

But the Foreign Secretary said he understood the frustration driving the Black Lives Matter movement, adding that the gesture is "a matter of personal choice".

The justice spokesman for Britain's opposition Labour Party, David Lammy, described the remarks as "insulting" and "deeply embarrassing" on Twitter.

Dominic Raab responded to criticism on Twitter, saying he has "full respect for the Black Lives Matter movement, and the issues driving them".

A spokesperson from Downing Street said the Foreign Secretary had been expressing a "personal opinion".

The gesture of taking a knee has become a symbol of opposition to racism and police violence, and has often been seen during the US national anthem.

It dates back to 1950s civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, and gained momentum in 2016 with NFL player Colin Kaepernick.

Taking a knee has been widely used by demonstrators worldwide following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

Premier League players from Arsenal, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Sheffield United also took a knee before matches on Wednesday night.