Premier League explain why players will no longer take the knee before every game

Posted By Foster | Section: Sport
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The Premier League has confirmed players will be scaling back on how often they take the knee starting from the 2022/23 season.

Players will stop performing the equal rights protest before every game, as they have done for the last two seasons.

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Manchester City and Liverpool took the knee before last weekend’s Community Shield match

Instead, the gesture will instead be seen before specific matches only – including Boxing Day fixtures.

In a statement, the Premier League said: “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.

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

The players will continue to take the knee for the ‘No Room For Racism’ campaign in October as well as major cup finals the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup.

The decision to take the knee was adopted by players after the restart of the Premier League season in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd by police in the U.S.

But over the last two weeks the league’s clubs and team captains have come together to opt against doing it week in week out in response to fears the gesture was losing its impact and message.

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Zaha was the first Premier League player to opt against taking the knee

AFP

Zaha was the first Premier League player to opt against taking the knee

Whilst a majority of players continued

AFP

Whilst a majority of players continued

Each of the 20 captains in the league consulted their team’s players before voting on behalf of their club.

Some individuals had already opted not to take the knee, with Crystal Palace‘s Wilfred Zaha and the whole Brentford team dropping the anti-discrimination gesture months ago.

But, despite fears of dwindling support, talkSPORT co-host Trevor Sinclair believes the movement has really helped change the narrative around racism in football, and will continue to do so.

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“I think if the captain’s have agreed that then that’s democracy isn’t it,” the ex-West Ham and Manchester City star said on Wednesday’s White and Jordan show.

“It’s shown that football is no longer willing to accept racism, or any kind of misogyny, or any kind of abuse at football stadiums.

“That’s what it represents for me and I think that’s what it means for a lot of people you see taking the knee.”

The Premier League is back and talkSPORT has it covered, with games on Friday, Saturday and Monday, beginning with Crystal Palace vs Arsenal on 5 August

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