Premier League players to take the knee over next two weekends

Premier League players are set to take the knee before top-flight matches over the next two weekends as part of an anti-discrimination campaign.

The league’s ‘No Room For Racism’ initiative takes place over the next two rounds of games, and as part of that players will take the knee as a gesture against racism and other forms of discrimination.

Premier League club captains decided ahead of the start of the season to select significant moments to make the gesture, after it became a common sight at matches following the death while under police arrest of black man George Floyd in the United States in 2020.

Other occasions selected for players to take the knee include the Boxing Day round of matches – which will mark the return of the Premier League after the World Cup – future No Room For Racism campaign weeks, the final day of the season and the FA Cup and Carabao Cup finals.

Other messaging in support of the campaign will be displayed around Premier League stadia.

Darren Moore, the chair of the Premier League’s Black Participants’ Advisory Group (BPAG), said: “In my time as chair of BPAG, I have seen a lot of significant changes and progress in tackling discrimination and creating more opportunities across the game.

“I think it is fantastic players are continuing to take the knee to show a united front against racism. The BPAG fully supports the players as they take the knee at selected matches to continue to send this powerful message.

“I am proud of the work being done to increase the number of coaches from under-represented groups going into full-time professional roles. The coaching initiatives are excellent and well-received by candidates.

Darren Moore, the chair of the Premier League's Black Participants' Advisory Group, says taking the knee sends a powerful message
Darren Moore, the chair of the Premier League’s Black Participants’ Advisory Group, says taking the knee sends a powerful message (Isaac Parkin/PA)

“There has been really good work in opening doors and creating pathways – the challenge now is to ensure we continue to work together to maintain progress and enhance these opportunities for even more coaches.

“We already have a brilliant game and bringing more diversity into all areas of football will only continue to make it even better.”

The league is involved in various programmes focused on equality and diversity, including the Professional Player to Coach Scheme (PPCS) and the Coach Inclusion and Diversity Scheme, which have led to 48 black, Asian, mixed-heritage or female coaches securing placements with professional clubs.

The league also launched an online abuse reporting system in June 2020 to support players, staff and their families when they receive discriminatory abuse via social media.

The league has investigated more than 400 cases to identify online abusers following reports from clubs.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “Fighting racism and all forms of discrimination is always a priority for the Premier League and our clubs.

“We urge everybody to play their part and demonstrate that racial prejudice is not acceptable in football or wider society.

“We support the decision made by players to take the knee at specific moments during the season and we will use these matches to further promote anti-discrimination and educate fans.

“We continue to work hard to address discrimination and improve opportunities within the game, in line with our No Room For Racism action plan. We know more can be done to remove barriers to make football more inclusive, and that football will benefit from greater diversity across all areas of the sport.”