Layth Yousif writes in the Morning Star ‘What was most impressive about the strength Arsenal showed in dispatching Prague occurred shortly before kick-off.
In a poignant photograph that has already become an iconic image in the north Londoners’ proud and illustrious history, a kneeling Alex Lacazette stared down the entire Slavia side.
As he took the knee, Lacazette’s quiet dignity, allied with righteous anger at the brazen racism shown by Kudela — and the lack of an apology and remorse from the player, the club and his teammates — meant his stare had a primeval power that was channelled from the ages.
Lacazette’s remorseless look was a conduit for the unfairness, the meanness, the pain, the embarrassment, the shock, the fear, the shame, the disgust, the anger — as well as the strength, the grit, the determination and the unbowed pride and dignity of anyone who has suffered racism. And my word, he let them see it in those blazing, unblinking eyes.
It was a stunning moment that will be referenced by future generations in the ongoing struggle against racism. Already, his simple act has already reverberated around the globe.
His gaze unnerved his opponents because it showed that an intelligent, strong, proud and successful black man was not going to let the racists win. Not in sport. Not in life. Lacazette’s blazing eyes will live long in the memory for everyone, not least Slavia Prague.
It was as beautiful as it was important, and as brave as it was satisfying. I wonder how the unspeakable Kudela felt when he saw it? Or, as the goals went in, did he note all four were scored by black men?
No wonder Thursday was a wonderful night in the fight against racism. Arsenal went on to win 4-0.
But it would be nice if the Labour Party could bring itself to issue a public statement of support for Glen Kamara, and congratulations to Alex Lacazette on his courageous stand.