Patrick van Aanholt Q&A: Black Lives Matter, George Floyd and fighting racism

Patrick van Aanholt says he is “100 per cent prepared” to take a knee when Crystal Palace face Bournemouth on June 20.

The defender has told Sky Sports News he has been left “hurt” and “upset” by the death of George Floyd, who was killed after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds in Minneapolis on May 25.

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Van Aanholt has been vocal in his support for anti-racist movements that have followed and has been in an ongoing Twitter argument with media personality Katie Hopkins.

He has now revealed he is ready to continue protests when the Premier League’s return by taking a knee ahead of kick-off.

In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News, Van Aanholt also says:

  • White team-mates have been asking ‘how can we help?’
  • A lack of black coaches may put him off the future career
  • He wants his children to have a ‘normal life’ and not face racism

It’s been a very difficult week. What have you made of the demonstrations?

“It’s good to see so much unity from black and white people. It’s good to get so much love and support.”

What do you feel when you see the video of George Floyd?

“I’m not going to lie, I was very upset. To think this is still going on in 2020 is crazy. Why is racism still a conversation in 2020? We are all one. It hurts me. It upsets me.”

You’re a proud Dutch black man, how much racism have you endured?

“I’ve been lucky. I didn’t have much. For me it has been okay, I’ve been blessed but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. We all need to support each other.”

Will you take a knee before your match against Bournemouth?

“I’m prepared to do it, 100 per cent. They’ve done it in Germany and [Premier League] teams have done it in training. We have a platform and as a global sport, we have to come together.”

Have the players spoken about what’s happened?

“Everyone has, not just the players. The manager has… the whole club. The white players are asking… how can we help?”

What was life like growing up in Holland?

“I grew up in a family of six. Four sisters, one brother. I moved to England at a young age so it was different, unlike other Dutch players as I had to get used to a different culture.”

Would you like to get into coaching?

“I don’t know. I had Chris Hughton, he was a great manager. I haven’t had any other black coaches in my career.”

Would the lack of black coaches put you off?

“A little bit, yeah. I don’t know if I want to be a coach yet. Ashley Cole is trying. Seedorf got his badges then got sacked at AC Milan. I don’t know why. Many black coaches have to start from the bottom and again, I don’t know why.”

Can we all do more?

“Yeah. By reading more and seeing more you understand and do more. It’s good we are all together now and coming together and seeing just how serious this is.”

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