Derby become latest club to stop taking the knee before kick-off

PA Sport Staff
·2-min read

Derby have become the latest club to announce they will no longer take the knee ahead of kick-off, claiming it is “not enough” to battle discrimination.

Clubs across the country opted to kneel ahead of matches following Project Restart in the continued attempt to rid football of racism.

Brentford announced last month they would stop the gesture because they felt it had lost its impact.

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Now Sky Bet Championship rivals Derby have followed suit, insisting their new approach does not alter their stance on battling discrimination.

“Derby County’s players and staff have confirmed, unanimously, that they will no longer take a knee before matches,” a statement read.

“This decision has been made after discussions as a group, including first-team players and senior staff members, in recent days.

“It has been decided, as a collective group, to no longer take a knee. This decision has been made because the symbolic gesture of taking a knee is not enough; more needs to be done and we are committed to playing an important role in this.”

Brentford players decided last month to stop taking a knee ahead of kick-off.
Brentford players decided last month to stop taking a knee ahead of kick-off (John Walton/PA)

Rams forward Colin Kazim-Richards was recently targeted by racist online abuse following a 1-1 draw with local rivals Nottingham Forest.

Derby boss Wayne Rooney called those who posted the comments “cowards” and, with Kazim-Richards having already opted against taking the knee, the club has reinforced their position in stamping out discrimination.

“Derby County is proud to continue its work with many fantastic organisations and individuals, both nationally and in the local community, to strive for equality and diversity in not just football but society,” the statement continued.

Watford v Derby County – Sky Bet Championship – Vicarage Road
Derby manager Wayne Rooney, pictured, spoke out about racist abuse aimed at striker Colin Kazim-Richards (Adam Davy/PA)

“We will support the fight against all forms of discrimination by delivering the unified message of standing together as one.

“No longer taking a knee does not change the club’s stance on all forms of discrimination. It will not be tolerated at Derby County; this is categorically clear.

“The club will, wholeheartedly, support players and staff at other clubs that still want to take a knee before games involving Derby County. We are all in this together.”