Premier League players to no longer take the knee before every match

Top flight players in England will no longer take the knee before every fixture in the competition, the Premier League have confirmed.

However, the anti-racism gesture will still be on show across the opening weekend of the 2022/23 season, which begins on Friday night, and ahead of specific other fixtures.

A statement from the league read:

“Premier League club captains have reaffirmed their commitment to fighting racism and all forms of discrimination.

“The players have decided to use specific moments during the upcoming campaign to take the knee, to amplify the message that racism has no place in football or society. The Premier League supports the players’ decision and, alongside the clubs, will use these opportunities to elevate anti-racism messaging as part of the League’s No Room for Racism Action Plan.”

The now-familiar anti-racism gesture entered the football arena in this country in June 2020 with the post-Covid resumption of action, as players used their platform to highlight and support the movement for racial equality.

Since then some players have opted out of doing so, with Wilf Zaha in 2021 the first in the Premier League to choose to stand ahead of kick-off.

“I’ve said before that I feel like taking the knee is degrading and stuff because growing up my parents just let me know that I should be proud to be black no matter what and I feel like we should just stand tall,” he said at the time.

England’s national teams have also taken the knee before matches during this period.

Adding to the Premier League’s statement, the club captains jointly said: “We have decided to select significant moments to take the knee during the season to highlight our unity against all forms of racism and in so doing we continue to show solidarity for a common cause. We remain resolutely committed to eradicate racial prejudice, and to bring about an inclusive society with respect and equal opportunities for all.”

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