Millwall Fans celebrated their return to The Den by booing as players injured a knee before their match against Derby. When both teams made an anti-racist nod, there were loud complaints from the stands, which included first-time fans in nearly nine months.
There were concerns ahead of the game that a section of fans would take such an action, as the players and management assured that they would continue to take the knee regardless. Some supporters had called on the team to stop taking this initiative due to its links to important black lives and politicization.
A club statement said before the match: “We fully support efforts to rid sport and society of all forms of discrimination. It is our duty to reinforce positive messages. For us, the knee does not in any way represent any agreement with political or ideological messages. It is only about addressing discrimination.” .
Two thousand Al Watan fans were allowed to attend the match for the first time since government guidelines on elite sport were changed.
The booing was widely condemned, with former England winger Trevor Sinclair tweeting: “The reality is Millwall fans booing the players doesn’t surprise them much.”
Former Nottingham Forest and Cardiff player Greg Halford said: “What I see in the Millwall game … the Premier League has to be strong and take serious action against it. Every time I played there, I heard some form of racial abuse.”
Soccer players rode to raise awareness of inequality in society After the death of George Floyd in America. Players also wore the Black Lives Matter logo on their shirts.
The NFL has allowed players and teams to make their own decisions about whether or not to take the knee. Championship clubs QPR and Coventry decided not to continue with this gesture.
Derby won the match 1-0 thanks to a second-half goal by Jason Knight, a result that kept Ramez off the table.
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