Premier League explains why players will no longer take the knee before every game after team captains vote, but top flight ‘remain determined to stamp out racism’


The Premier League have confirmed players will reduce the frequency with which they take the knee during the 2022/23 season.

Players will stop performing the gesture before each game, as they have done for two seasons.

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Manchester City and Liverpool took the knee ahead of last weekend’s Community Shield game

Instead, it will only be seen before specific matches, including Boxing Day matches.

In a statement, the Premier League said: “We have decided to select meaningful moments for our knees during the season to underline our unity against all forms of racism and in doing so we continue to demonstrate solidarity for a common cause.

“We remain strongly committed to eradicating racial prejudice and creating an inclusive society with respect and equal opportunity for all.”

However, players will continue to kneel for the ‘No Room For Racism’ campaign in October, as well as major cup finals such as the Carabao Cup and FA Cup.

The decision to take the knee was adopted by the players after the Premier League season restarted in 2020 following the police killing of George Floyd in the US

But over the past two weeks, clubs and league captains have come together to opt out week after week in response to fears the gesture will lose its impact and message.


Zaha was the first Premier League player to choose not to take the knee

AFP

Zaha was the first Premier League player to choose not to take the knee

While a majority of players continued

AFP

While a majority of players continued

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

Some people had already chosen not to take a knee, with Crystal Palace’s Wilfred Zaha and the entire Brentford squad abandoning 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.

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

“It has been shown that football is no longer ready to accept racism, or any form of misogyny, or any form of abuse in football stadiums.

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

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



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