Dean Smith has a very firm stance when it comes to his Aston Villa stars standing up for what they believe in. Smith says he would never get in the way of his players expressing their beliefs in the wake of Tyrone Mings attending a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Birmingham. Villa centre-half Mings was one of around 4,000 people who turned up to the protest at Victoria Square earlier this month, as the Lions’ preparations for the restart of the campaign intensified at Bodymoor Heath.
Dean Smith said “I wouldn’t necessarily say players can go and do what they want but if someone is passionate about something like Black Lives Matter, and it’s been in the news for everyone, then I fully support him for going and doing what he believes in, One thing I allow my players is the fact they use their common sense and social distance. There have been questions whether he asked for permission – he doesn’t need to ask me for permission to go and stand up for something he believes in, just like my players don’t have to ask me for permission to go to a supermarket where there is as much chance of contracting the virus. We are due to chat about it. All of our players feel very strongly about it, as they do in the Premier League and the EFL. It is great to see football get a chance to come together at times like this and show solidarity. Our players will talk about it and I am sure they will speak to their Sheffield United counterparts as well about what we are going to do. I am definitely keen to do it and the lads will be keen to do it as well. You can’t ignore what is happening in the world and we feel strongly about it. We have players who are very passionate about it as well and they have our full support.”
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