Premier League Players to Commence Knee Gesture in Next Two Weekend Fixtures and Other Top-flight Matches

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Premier League players will take a knee as a gesture against racism and other forms of discrimination in the next two weekend matches in October to show their unity and fight against racism.

Premier League
Knee gestures against racism

Premier League “No Room for Racism” initiative was first introduced following the gruesome murder of a black American George Floyd in the United States in May 2020, and Top-flight clubs started taking a knee to support the Black Lives Matter Movement.

All 20 top-flight club captains collectively announced in August that the knee gesture would not continue for every match this season because they sensed the feelings that it had lost its impact due to the persistent cases of racial abuse from fans to players and amidst players.

Bournemouth players stopped taking a knee last season during their promotion campaign from the Championship.
Brentford players also stopped the gesture last season after their striker, Ivan Toney remained standing while others knelt because he felt like the gesture had lost its ground.

Similarly, other Premier League top players like Crystal Palace’s Wilfred Zaha and Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso had previously stopped taking a knee.

Premier League
Wilfred Zaha not taking the knee gesture

However, a decision has been taken by all Premier League players to proceed with the gesture but on selected significant dates and big games because by committing to it, they hope that it will carry a tremendous impact in the fight for equality.

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Hence, top-flight matches between 8 and 16 October 2022 will be dedicated to the No Room for Racism movement.
Players will also take a knee during Boxing Day matches and cup finals.

Meanwhile, other people sending in messages of their support of the anti-racism movement will be displayed around Premier League stadia.

The chairman of the Premier League’s Black Participants’ Advisory Group (BPAG), Darren Moore said he is happy to see players continue the struggle against racism, which shows there is progress in the significant fight against racial discrimination.

He said: “In my time as chair of BPAG, I have seen a lot of significant changes and progress in tackling discrimination and creating more opportunities across the game.

“I think it is fantastic players are continuing to take the knee to show a united front against racism. The BPAG fully supports the players as they take the knee at selected matches to continue to send this powerful message.

“I am proud of the work being done to increase the number of coaches from under-represented groups going into full-time professional roles. The coaching initiatives are excellent and well-received by candidates.

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“There has been really good work in opening doors and creating pathways – the challenge now is to ensure we continue to work together to maintain progress and enhance these opportunities for even more coaches.

“We already have a brilliant game and bringing more diversity into all areas of football will only continue to make it even better.”

The English Premier League is involved in several programs focused on racial equality and diversity, including the Professional Player to Coach Scheme (PPCS) and the Coach Inclusion and Diversity Scheme, which have resulted in incursions of 48 black, Asian, mixed-heritage and female coaches securing jobs with professional clubs.

The league has also inaugurated an online abuse reporting system in June 2020 to support players, staff, and their families when they receive discriminatory abuse on social media.

So far, The league has investigated more than 400 abuse cases to identify online abusers following allegations from clubs.

Moreover, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has emphasized that racial prejudice is not acceptable in the Premier League and other leagues all over the world.

The chief has called for fans’ and players’ cooperation in the joint fight against racial discrimination.

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Richard said: “Fighting racism and all forms of discrimination is always a priority for the Premier League and our clubs.

“We urge everybody to play their part and demonstrate that racial prejudice is not acceptable in football or wider society.

“We support the decision made by players to take the knee at specific moments during the season and we will use these matches to further promote anti-discrimination and educate fans.

“We continue to work hard to address discrimination and improve opportunities within the game, in line with our No Room For Racism action plan.

“We know more can be done to remove barriers to make football more inclusive, and that football will benefit from greater diversity across all areas of the sport.”

Following the decision taken by all Premier League clubs to proceed with the knee gesture on selected significant dates, players will take a knee in league matches between the 8 and 16 of October.

Another round will happen in next year March; the Boxing Day fixtures, including the final league matches of this season plus the FA Cup and EFL Cup finals.

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