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Premier League players will take the knee this weekend as part of No Room For Racism campaign

Henry Clark

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Premier League players will take the knee this weekend as part of No Room For Racism campaign

As part of the No Room For Racism campaign, Premier League footballers will take the knee before every fixture again this weekend.

Players in English football had taken the knee for two years in response to the tragic death of George Floyd in the US in 2019 as a way to show their support for equality and the Black Lives Matter movement.

But by the end of last season a number of players felt the gesture had 'lost its gravitas', with the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Ivan Toney refusing to take the knee last season.

Premier League players had taken the knee before games for two years. Image: Alamy
Premier League players had taken the knee before games for two years. Image: Alamy

Zaha was particularly vocal against the gesture, telling the FT Business of Football conference that taking the knee was "degrading".

The Crystal Palace star added: "Growing up, my parents just let me know that I should just be proud to be black, no matter what, and I just think we should stand tall. I think the meaning behind the whole thing is becoming something that we just do now. That’s not enough. I’m not going to take the knee.”

After a meeting between all Premier League captains at the start of this season, it was decided that players would only take the knee on certain occasions, rather than before every match.

According to MailOnline, one of those occasions will be this weekend as part of the Premier League's No Room For Racism campaign which urges fans, players and clubs to combat discrimination in society.

The gesture was first performed by NFL quarter-back Colin Kaepernick back in 2016 with other top sports stars such as Lewis Hamilton following suit after Mr Floyd - an unarmed African American man - was killed as a result of police brutality in Minneapolis.

England's national team players also took the knee ahead of fixtures over the past two years, including in every match in their run to the Euro 2020 final last summer.

A Daily Mail report in July said that Gareth Southgate's side intend to continue to take the knee at the World Cup in Qatar later this year too with several players believing it remains a powerful gesture.

Featured Image Credit: Image: Alamy

Topics: Football, Premier League, Black Lives Matter, Wilfried Zaha

Henry Clark
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