Soccer-Cambridge Utd boss Bonner hits out at fans who booed players taking knee

·2-min read

(Reuters) - Cambridge United manager Mark Bonner has criticised fans of the League Two (fourth-tier) club who booed as players took a knee as part of English football's anti-racism stance before their home game against Colchester United on Tuesday.

Players in English football have been taking a knee since July, and while the gesture is closely associated with the 'Black Lives Matter' movement the Premier League and Football League have now linked it to their own anti-racism campaigns.

Other spectators in the stadium responded by trying to drown out the boos with applause and Bonner said he was disgusted by the behaviour of the small minority who had embarrassed themselves and the club.

"It shines a light on our club for all the wrong reasons," Bonner told reporters after Cambridge's 2-1 victory.

"What was a really good night for us on the pitch was overshadowed by a real small minority that decide to boo in a moment when we're reflecting the values that everyone at our club believes in.

"It's just behaviour that's unacceptable in our club. We don't want that at all.

"What's most encouraging is the vast majority drowned them out quite quickly with an applause and reflected the values of our club much better."

Taking a knee was popularised by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 and gathered steam as an anti-racism protest following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis in May.

Tuesday's incident comes after Millwall fans booed players taking a knee ahead of their second-tier game against Derby County at The Den stadium earlier this month.

Millwall supporters rejected criticism that their booing of the gesture was racist in nature and said it was a protest against the 'BLM' movement's political stance.

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)