Crystal Palace and Arsenal players DO take a knee before the opening game of Premier League season
Crystal Palace and Arsenal players DO kneel for the opening game of the new Premier League season – despite top team captains opting to limit gesture use to ‘key moments’ only
- Arsenal and Crystal Palace stars knelt before their match at Selhurst Park
- Premier League players have agreed to perform the gesture at certain times
- But teams will show their support for anti-racism in the opening round of the competition
Arsenal and Crystal Palace players got on their knees for their Premier League game on Friday night, despite deciding to only perform the gesture at ‘key moments’.
As Sports post predicted on Tuesday, the pre-match gesture will no longer take place before every game this season, but Eagles and Gunners players have chosen to show their commitment to anti-discrimination before the campaign’s first game.
Top players are set to take to their knees during the opening round of matches that started with Palace v Arsenal, then again on Boxing Day, the FA Cup and League Cup finals, the last day of the season and weeks in which the No The Room For Racism campaign is active in October and November.
In a collective statement, the top captains said: “We have decided to pick key moments during the season to get on our knees to emphasize our unity against all forms of racism while continuing to show solidarity for a common cause.
“We remain resolutely committed to eradicating racial prejudice and building an inclusive society with respect and equal opportunity for all.”
Club skippers met a week ago to discuss a number of issues. While some still supported taking the knee, there were opposing views from some who felt the gesture had run its course.
A compromise has now been found to ensure it remains part of the season, but only for certain matches. Originally they had said they would not get down on their knees, but Bournemouth’s players will now carry out the anti-racism gesture on the agreed days.
While support for equality among top footballers remains strong, there was some hesitation during last week’s discussions to make a final decision on how to proceed.
More to follow.
Arsenal and Crystal Palace players knelt before their first Premier League clash, despite top stars opting to only perform the gesture at key moments