Taking a knee – used by some to represent support for the Black Lives Matter campaign – has been called a “symbol of subjugation and subordination” by the foreign secretary.
Dominic Raab suggested he would not follow the lead of footballers who marked the Premier League’s return by getting down on one knee to express solidarity with the fight against racial inequality.
He said it is a “matter of personal choice” but that he would only take a knee for the Queen and his wife.
The symbolic gesture was popularised in 2016 when NFL star Colin Kaepernick got down on one knee while the US national anthem played before games.
Kaepernick’s protests sparked controversy, with Donald Trump saying team owners should sack players who took a knee during the anthem. Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017.
“What Kaepernick wanted to do was raise awareness of the continuous police brutality,” Professor Louis Moore from Grand Valley State University previously told Sky News Africa.
Bending a knee has become more widespread in recent weeks due to the killing of an unarmed black man in the US, George Floyd.