The Premier League and its players have brought back the Black Lives Matter-inspired gesture of taking a knee before kickoff. The players recently came to the decision to scrap the virtue-signaling gesture, but the Premier League has forced it back upon them.
With October being Black History Month in the UK, the Premier League launched a new ‘No Room For Racism’ campaign. Part of the campaign includes players having to take a knee as the referee – who kneels too – blows the opening whistle. Players took a knee this past weekend and will have to do so ahead of games through October 16.
The Premier League telling players to get back on a knee before kickoff comes not long after players decided to stop the gesture. Back in August, a player-led decision was made to only take a knee before matches during significant moments.
Players began kneeling before games after George Floyd’s death in the United States in 2020. This is a BLM-inspired gesture, not an anti-racism for everyone around the world gesture, no matter what the league says.
The Premier League says that it supports the player-led decision made to stop kneeling before every match, all while knowing it can force its players to do so in October.
“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,” the league’s Chief Executive, Richard Masters said.
“We continue to work hard to address discrimination and improve opportunities within the game, in line with our No Room For Racism Action Plan.”
The Premier League has already circled other specific dates on the calendar in which it will be telling its players to kneel. Players will be forced to take a knee at other ‘No Room For Racism’ match days, on the final day of the season, and at finals of various cup matches. You can also expect to see players taking a knee ahead of Boxing Day matches.
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