Marcus Rashford joined fellow players in showing his support for the Black Lives Matter movement as he returned to action for Manchester United, just days after forcing a government U-turn.
The striker took to the pitch at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for his side’s first Premier League match in four months.
And he was joined by all 21 other players and match officials in taking a knee before kick-off, in a public show of backing for the anti-racism campaign.
Players and officials have performed the gesture before each match since the return of Premier League football following its suspension due to coronavirus lockdown measures.
The Manchester-born forward also raised a clenched fist, a symbol of solidarity adopted by BLM supporters that is also commonly associated with the Black Power civil rights movement of 1960s and 1970s.
Rashford‘s involvement in the game came just days after he forced Boris Johnson’s government to reverse its plan to scrap food vouchers week for disadvantaged children over the summer.
The England star said following the victory that he hoped to use his profile to help change society for the better.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, he said it was “a bit crazy” the campaign had worked and that he was happy it would make a difference to people’s lives.
The 22-year-old said fellow England player Raheem Sterling’s reaction to being racially abused was a “turning point” for footballers hoping to help bring about change.
“Now people are willing to make that first step towards being heard and I think the first important factor for that was Raheem, when he went through his situation of being racially abused and how he stood up to that,” he said.
“He’s not afraid to come out and speak about it and it’s definitely changed how to approach situations for people in the sport.”
Rashford said his generation was more willing to speak out.
“We have to make England what we want it to look like.
“My view on it is it’s a generational thing. Generations change and people improve as humans should.”
Rashford has previously spoken about how his family had relied on free school meals, food banks and soup kitchens while he was growing up.
The game in north London finished 1-1, after a late Bruno Fernandes equaliser cancelled out Steven Bergwijn’s first-half strike for Spurs.