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TAKING THE KNEE: Has the pre-match show of solidarity lost its meaning?

 

In a show of solidarity against racism and discrimination, each game in English football begins the same way.

Players on both teams take a knee on the referee's whistle and remain there for eight seconds.

This stems from the brutal murder of George Floyd, who was killed last year by a police officer.

His death was caused by the officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for over eight minutes.

When a resumption of the season was allowed post-lockdown, the Premier League decided to implement this action to show their stance against racism.

Each kit also had the words "Black Lives Matter" in place of the player's surname on the back.

 

"Just something we do"

 

However, now some are deciding against the pre-match ritual.

Brentford have confirmed they will no longer take the knee pre-game but respect their opponent's wishes to do so.

Fellow Championship side Bournemouth have joined them saying they'll no longer kneel before kick off.

Crystal Palace's Wilfred Zaha said taking the knee has become "just something we do".

It comes as racist abuse on social media continues to plague players.

Social media companies are being urged to do more to hold people accountable.

 

Is taking the knee soon to end?

 

This brings debate as to whether the message taking the knee is supposed to give has lost its resonance.

Obviously, there is a continued need for the anti-racism stance to be portrayed.

But is it time for taking the knee to end?

"We need to do something," says Leeds fan Kieran Archer, who adds, "but I'm not sure it's taking the knee that's working in this regard."

"I can understand teams carrying it on if they want to put their anti-racism message forward that way.

"But I can also understand teams saying I'm not sure this is working. Let's try a different approach."

Time will tell whether more teams continue to take the knee, or take Zaha's advice of standing tall.


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