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Brentford has announced that its players will no longer kneel before kick-off as it is not “having an impact” on ending discrimination in football.
The pre-match gesture began in June in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and was repackaged as part of the Premier League’s No Room for Racism campaign this season.
Despite the initiative, racist abuse of footballers has skyrocketed lately with Swansea City’s Yan Dhanda, Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe and several other players receiving hate messages on social media recently.
In response to this, Brentford has decided to stop kneeling before matches, throwing the following statement from the team: “As a group of players, we have decided that we will no longer kneel before the start of the games. This will start when we face Barnsley tomorrow, Sunday 14 February.
“This decision was made after lengthy discussions as a group. We have knelt before matches since June but, like many of our colleagues from other clubs, we no longer believe this is having an impact. We believe that we can use our time and energies to promote racial equality in other ways.
“As a group, we stand behind and take pride in Brentford’s desire to become the most inclusive club in the country and the drive for equality under the #BeeTogether banner. We have experienced racist abuse firsthand and have seen some shocking comments from other Players as well. Past and Present There is a clear need to continue to push for an end to all discrimination and as players we will be a part of that at Brentford FC, in football in general and in the wider community.
“Unity is one of our key values as a group and it plays an important role in helping us move towards achieving our goals. Racism is the opposite of what we stand for. As players, we will show our commitment to unity and racial equality. on and off the pitch from now until the end of the season and beyond. We will also support our teammates from other clubs who still want to get down on their knees before games. “
The Bees aren’t the first team to express opposition. In September, QPR announced that its players would not kneel in a game against Coventry for fear the message would be diluted. Some Millwall fans also controversially booed their team for kneeling in December.