Premier League stars will take the knee before matches this weekend, as club captains announce plans to stick with the anti-racism gesture for 50 games in the new season
- Premier League captains agreed to keep up the pre-match kneeling gesture
- Statement read: ‘We will continue to show solidarity by taking the knee at significant moments during the forthcoming season’
Premier League teams will again be taking the knee in a gesture of anti-racism at significant moments during the upcoming season.
Players will take the knee this Friday at the opening game of the campaign between Burnley and Manchester City and all other first-round fixtures.
And they will do the same in the final match round, as well as dedicated No Room For Racism fixtures in October and April, and Boxing Day.
The Premier League captains said: ‘We are unified in our belief that any form of discrimination has no place within football, or wider society, and are committed to using our platform to help celebrate diversity and show our support in the fight against racism.
‘Therefore, we will continue to show solidarity by taking the knee at significant moments during the forthcoming season.
Premier League players will take the knee at significant points throughout the season
‘Diversity is central to the success of the game and we feel strongly that people should respect others, regardless of their ethnicity or background.’
It was Aston Villa and Sheffield United’s players who first took the knee in the top flight in June 2020 – an incredibly powerful gesture at the time and one which was widely praised for its impact.
It followed the murder of George Floyd in the United States a month earlier.
Premier League clubs announced ahead of the 2021-22 season that they would continue to take the knee as a ‘symbol of our unity against all forms of racism’.
Yet the growing sense that the gesture has lost its gravitas led to a rethink among players in how they should proceed.
Prior to last season, it was decided after a meeting between the captains of all 20 clubs to reduced the regularity of the gesture to a handful of significant occasions.
That pattern will now be continuing into this season and on show for the first time in the new campaign this weekend.
In total, there will be 50 matches in 2023/24 where the gesture is performed by the players around the centre circle before the kick off.
The players believe it is important to remain committed to showing solidarity
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