August 19, 2022

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Anti-Racism: Player League Players Will No Longer Knee Before Matches

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taking a knee

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JUNE 01: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Liverpool players take a knee in memory of George Floyd at Anfield on June 01, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Premier League players will no longer take the knee before every match as an anti-racism gesture.

Premier League clubs began kneeling in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, which gained prominence following the death of George Floyd in the United States in May 2020.

After consulting with players, Premier League captains made the decision.

Instead, the gesture will be seen before certain rounds of games, such as Boxing Day matches and cup finals.

Players and staff will also take a knee before the first and final games of the 2022-23 season, as well as during dedicated No Room for Racism match rounds in October and March.

Players took the knee prior to the Community Shield between Liverpool and Manchester City

“We have decided to select significant moments to take the knee during the season to highlight our unity against all forms of racism and in so doing we continue to show solidarity for a common cause,” said a joint statement from the Premier League captains.

“We remain resolutely committed to eradicate racial prejudice, and to bring about an inclusive society with respect and equal opportunities for all.”

Last Saturday, before the Community Shield match between Liverpool and Manchester City, the gesture was made.

Captains and players are said to believe that ‘less is more,’ hoping that by taking a knee, the impact will be greater.

The gesture was inspired by NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who chose to kneel during the US national anthem as a silent protest against racial oppression.

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha, on the other hand, stopped in February 2021, stating that “at the moment, it doesn’t matter whether we kneel or stand, some of us still continue to receive abuse.”

Around the same time, several Championship clubs, including Derby, Brentford, Bournemouth, and Queens Park Rangers, stopped taking a knee.

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Swansea City and Bristol City recently announced they would be stopping the action as well.

“We met with the captains last week, they’re still totally committed to the issue,” Premier League chief executive Richard Masters told BBC Sport on Tuesday.

“For two years now taking the knee has become part of the pre-match ritual. The players fear it’s losing power and momentum and we will see it take place in a different format.

“It’s up to the players to decide themselves and we support them in whatever decision they make, as do the clubs.”

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