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No plans for Irons to halt taking knee after Bees decision

West Ham will not currently be following QPR and Brentford’s move in dropping  ‘Bend the Knee’ ahead of kick offs.

It has been a regular feature of football since June since games resumed in June last year after the first coronavirus lockdown.

Racist abuse of footballers has been widespread in recent weeks and Brentford’s squad believe the demonstration is no longer having an impact.

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe, West Brom midfielder Romaine Sawyers, Chelsea full-back Reece James and his sister Lauren, who plays for United’s women’s team, have been among the victims of racist abuse on social media after  games.

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha this week described kneeling before games as “degrading” asking  why he should kneel down to show it matters and questioned why he should  wear Black Lives Matter on the back of my top to show the same.

But a Hammers insider said that whilst many inside the club still believed it was worthwhile any decision had to be made by the players not the club.

A statement posted on the Championship club’s website and Twitter feed read: “As a group of players, we have decided we will no longer take a knee before the start of matches. This will begin when we face Barnsley tomorrow, Sunday 14 February.

“As a group we are fully behind and proud of Brentford’s desire to become the most inclusive club in the country and the drive towards equality under the BeeTogether banner.

“We have experienced racist abuse first hand and have also seen some appalling comments made to other players past and present. There is a clear need to continue to push for an end to all discrimination and, as players, we will be part of that at Brentford FC, in football in general and in the wider community.

“Togetherness is one of our key values as a group and plays an important role in helping us move towards reaching our goals. Racism is the opposite of what we stand for.

“As players we will show our commitment to togetherness and racial equality on and off the pitch between now and the end of the season, and beyond. We will also support our colleagues at other clubs that still want to take a knee before games.”

Chief executive Jon Varney added: “There have been detailed and lengthy discussions on this topic both in the playing group and across the club. Taking a knee is just one way our players have been showing their commitment to racial equality. We supported their desire to do it and we now support their desire to focus on other ways to show this commitment.”

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

5 comments on “No plans for Irons to halt taking knee after Bees decision

  1. No self-respecting human should voluntarily kneel to another, or the memory of one. It is an act of submission and has no place in the modern world.
    Racism is vile, but this is not an answer.

    • I don’t think it’s meant to be the “answer.” It’s a gesture used to highlight the issue of racism and prejudice. The fact we are talking about here, shows it’s working in that respect.

  2. Pointless gesture achieving absolutely nothing.

  3. Think it’s good that some are stopping it to reopen the conversation. Agree that all lives should be treated equally and for historical reasons black lives haven’t been. That needs to change not just for black lives but all those prejudiced against! Hopefully those in power will take action to change the future but as it is whilst the action is commendable it needs to be accompanied by an outcome of change, otherwise it is a symbolic rather than meaningful gesture.

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