Jess Carter and Magdalena Eriksson: We had ‘no regrets’ kneeling during World Cup anthem

Media playback is not supported on this device Jess Carter says she didn’t consider changing the field position to take a knee

Chelsea’s Jess Carter and Magdalena Eriksson both say they have “no regrets” about taking a knee during the World Cup anthem.

Professional athletes have been kneeling during the Star-Spangled Banner for the past two years to protest against racial injustice.

Players from the US women’s team kneeled during the anthem at the World Cup in France last year.

But Carter and Eriksson took the knee for the French anthem at Chelsea’s 1-0 win over her former side.

Both players, who had criticised their former employers for excluding both of them from the starting line-up for their Germany tour earlier this summer, said they “didn’t even have time to think” during the France friendly at Stamford Bridge.

“I don’t regret kneeling during the French anthem,” Carter told the BBC.

“When the teams were all together [for the French World Cup squad] and were told who were going to be in the match, we were not in that group. So I didn’t think too much about that.

“And then we saw that I wasn’t in that group and started thinking and got quite a few texts about what they were doing.”

The England players initially kneeled during the anthem but then refused to hold their head up until the end of the song at Wembley, telling the crowd they were doing so to “protect” the American team and their “guests”.

Despite being booed by sections of the England crowd during their group match with the United States, the team did not stand for the French anthem.

“I didn’t worry about [the booing] at all because I had a feeling that was coming,” added Carter.

“I knew before the game that we were getting booed in Germany, so we had to be prepared.

“We kind of knew we wouldn’t stand for the French anthem, so I didn’t even think about that.”

Media playback is not supported on this device Did we make the right decision?

Eriksson said: “That time was last week and I thought when I saw it [the American players refusing to stand] on social media, because I had not watched any of the games, I thought ‘I would have done the same thing.’

“I spoke to the players in the England group and one of them said they were also not standing, so we were in different groups so I think we were one and the same.

“That time wasn’t maybe a good time to do it, but since then I think we have had a great dialogue between the players and the team.

“So at the end of the day we think that we did the right thing.”

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