Premier League captains decide to REDUCE the number of times they take the knee this season
Premier League captains insist they are still ‘resolutely committed’ to the fight for equality after deciding to REDUCE the number of times they have to kneel this season… with the gesture to go alone are performed at ‘important moments’
- Premier League captains have decided to kneel less often
- The gesture is now only performed at ‘important moments’
- Clubs carry out the anti-racism gesture since Project Restart in 2020
- A number of players had already decided to stop taking the knee before the games
- Bournemouth won’t be on their knees at all this season – like Swansea in the EFL
- Click here for all the latest 2022 World Cup news and updates
The Premier League captains insist that top players remain fully committed to the fight for equality, despite choosing to cut the number of times they kneel to seven.
As Sports post predicted on Tuesday, the pre-match gesture will no longer occur before every match this season.
Instead, players will get to their knees in the opening round, starting with Crystal Palace against Arsenal on Friday, Boxing Day, the FA Cup and League Cup finals, the last day of the season and weeks in which the No Room For Racism campaign is active in October and November.
Premier League clubs have decided to reduce the number of times they sit on the knee
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.
Players will now get on their knees during the opening match round, Boxing Day, the FA Cup and EFL Cup finals, the final round of matches and weeks of the No Room For Racism campaign
The act of kneeling before each game was first introduced in 2020 during Project Restart as a show of solidarity after George Floyd’s brutal murder by a Minneapolis police officer.
The gesture has continued despite criticism that the act had political connotations.
Sources have indicated that Sports post during the summer when certain figures were keen to scrap the gesture because it was too divisive.
Confirming the news, a statement read: “Ahead of the new season, Premier League club captains have reaffirmed their commitment to fighting racism and all forms of discrimination.
“The players have decided to use specific moments during the upcoming campaign to get on their knees, to reinforce the message that racism has no place in football or society.
Players like Wilfried Zaha (pictured above) had already decided to stop taking the knee
“The Premier League supports the players’ decision and, together with the clubs, will seize these opportunities to elevate anti-racism messages as part of the League’s No Room for Racism action plan.”
In addition, £238,000 will be donated to designated youth clubs on behalf of the captains after £119,000 has been collected from royalties from the ‘No Room For Racism’ sleeve decals sold on club shirts last season. The Premier League matched the figure.
All eyes will be on how the England team approaches things, particularly at the World Cup. There remains a strong contingent of players in Gareth Southgate’s squad who believe that taking a knee still sends a powerful message.
Early indications are that the players will take the knee in some form in Qatar, but the players will discuss the matter further ahead of the games against Italy and Germany in September.
Southgate’s team is under increasing pressure to take a stand against the human rights atrocities that took place in Qatar in the run-up to the tournament.
The gesture has been performed by players since Project Restart during the 2020 pandemic