Zaha 1st EPL player not to take a knee ahead of Palace win


LONDON — Wilfried Zaha became the first Premier League player not to take a knee before his Crystal Palace team beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 on Saturday.

Luka Milivojevic scored with a first-half penalty which Zaha had won.

Zaha was back in the starting XI after an injury and it gave him the chance to stand at kickoff. He said last month that taking a knee has lost meaning after being brought in by the Premier League in June as an anti-racism message when football resumed.

Zaha, who is Black, said in a statement on Saturday that “it doesn’t matter whether we kneel or stand, some of us still continue to receive abuse.”

The 21 other players on the field took a knee.

Zaha was central to the goal in the 37th minute. He saw a cross blocked by the arm of defender Darnell Furlong and following a lengthy VAR check, referee Simon Hooper pointed to the spot after using the pitchside monitor.

West Brom is second from bottom while midtable Palace has 37 points — a sufficient total to avoid the drop in each of the last four seasons.

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