Reactions have continued to trail the decision of the fans of Championship club, Millwall, to boo players that took a knee in protest of racism in a league match against Derby County which ended 0-1 in favor of the visitors.
On Saturday, the fans of Millwall had the opportunity to watch a Championship game live at the Den Stadium, Millwall’s home ground. Unfortunately for the home team, their 2,000 fans that were permitted to watch the match, booed the players immediately the players took a knee in solidarity with the movement against racism.
Despite how hard they booed, the players who were already on their knees continued with the practice as planned. The booing did not stop the game from going on but at the end of the match, the Championship game was overshadowed by the booing the players received for taking a knee against racism.
Since then, analysts, players, pundits, coaches, and other football stakeholders have been analyzing and debating the reason why the fans who were given a rare privilege to watch a live game at a game venue would decide to agitate against a just course like taking a knee against racism.
In the official reaction of Millwall, the club said in a statement that the club was “dismayed and saddened” that the fans decided to go so low that they have to boo players that took a knee in solidarity with the fight against racism.
Millwall club statement read: “What should have been a positive and exciting occasion was completely overshadowed… The players are continuing to use the biggest platform they have to support the drive for change, not just in football but in society generally
“The club has worked tirelessly in recent months to prepare for the return of supporters and what should have been a positive and exciting occasion was completely overshadowed, much to the immense disappointment and upset of those who have contributed to those efforts.
“The impact of such incidents is felt not just by the players and management, but by those who work throughout the club and in its Academy and Community Trust, where so many staff and volunteers continue passionate endeavors to enhance Millwall’s reputation day after day, year after year.
“The club will not allow their fine work to be in vain.
“The players are continuing to use the biggest platform they have to support the drive for change, not just in football but in society generally.”
Crowds at Millwall boo players taking the knee. I’m not sure why clubs are still doing this? BLM, outside of the laudable slogan, is now a political party and one with aims to overthrow the state, defund the police and to divide us as much as possible! pic.twitter.com/WziolE7g81— Darren Grimes (@darrengrimes_) December 5, 2020
Millwall defender Mahlon Romeo is disrespected
While Millwall defender Mahlon Romeo described the booing he and his teammates received from the spectators because they took a knee against racism as disrespectful. The 25-year-old right-back said he has never been so disrespected all his life.
“Today’s game, to me now, has become irrelevant,” Mahlon Romeo told the South London Press. “The fans have been let back in – which the whole team was looking forward to. But in society, there is a problem – and that problem is racism.
“The fans who have been let in today have personally disrespected not just me but the football club. And what the football club and the community stand for. What they’ve done is booed and condemned a peaceful gesture that was put in place to highlight, combat, and stop any discriminatory behavior and racism. That’s it – that’s all that gesture is.
“And the fans have chosen to boo that, which for the life of me I can’t understand. It has offended me and everyone who works for this club – the players and the staff.
“I’m speaking on behalf of myself here – not any of the other players – I want to make that very clear. This is the first time I feel disrespected. Because you have booed and condemned a peaceful gesture which – and it needs repeating – was put in place to highlight, combat, and tackle any discriminatory behavior and racism in general.”
Millwall are currently sitting 14th in the Championship table with 20 points in 16 games. The club has managed to win 4 games, drawn 8 games, and recorded 4 defeats so far.
While Derby County that are currently being managed by former Manchester United’s star Wayne Rooney (caretaker coach), are occupying the 23rd spot after 2 wins, 5 draws, and 9 defeats. They have just 11 points in 16 games.