English Soccer League, The Premier League, Will Only Take the Knee on Occasions

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford seen taking the knee before kickoff
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford seen taking the knee before kickoff

Image source: Getty Images

In 2020, the murder of George Floyd sparked protests in all sectors, including sports.

Since 2020, footballers from all over Europe (especially England) have started kneeling before kick-off.

Although opinions were divided, clubs and leagues overseas continued to exercise.

The English Premier League recently announced that the anti-racism gesture will no longer be used as often in the 2022/2023 season.

The decision

On Wednesday, the English Premier League announced that the move would be limited to a few games next season.

The decision came from the matches between the league and the captains after consulting their respective teams.

“We have decided to select significant moments to take the knee during the season to highlight our unity against all forms of racism,” said the Premier League captains.

“In doing so, we continue to show solidarity for a common cause.”

Official statement

“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 statement read.

“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.”

“Players will take the knee during the opening match round of the season, dedicated No Room for Racism match rounds in October and March, Boxing Day fixtures following the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Premier League matches on the final day of the season and The FA Cup and EFL Cup Finals.”

Early plans

Kneeling is a June 2020 player-led initiative to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The gesture sparked criticism from fans and politicians, such as British Interior Minister Priti Patel, who accused the England national team of participating in “gestural politics” during Euro 2020 matches.

Patel said the fans were right to whistle in June 2021, “That’s a choice for them, quite frankly.”

The English League

The English Premier League begins the 2022/2023 season on August 5, with Arsenal meeting Crystal Palace in a London derby.

Tony Burnett, CEO of the anti-racism group, gave way and released a statement that said:

“Taking the knee is a gesture that has been driven by the players. Players have been doing it to highlight the fight for racial equality, and for that, it has certainly kept the spotlight on the issues football and wider society still faces.”

“The purpose of symbols and gestures is to use platforms to highlight to those with power that they need to act. Those gestures and symbols will inevitably change over time.”

“The point is not the symbols and gestures themselves, but what they signify.”

“We shouldn’t be talking about whether players kneel. We should be talking about why they kneel. We should be talking about the inequality and discrimination that the gesture highlights.”

References:

What’s taking the knee and why is it important?

English Premier League teams to stop taking the knee before every match

Premier League players won’t take a knee before every match


Opinions expressed by The Chicago Journal contributors are their own.

Leah Cooper

Leah is a dance instructor and a freelancer. She loves physical fitness and writes about health and wellness. She loves working under the heat of the sun and loves also to travel.

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