Premier League players to continue taking a knee in 2021/22 season

Players and staff have been taking a knee prior to kick-off in games since June 2020; Premier League players said in a statement: "We feel now, more than ever, it is important for us to continue to take the knee as a symbol of our unity against all forms of racism."

Rashford and Manchester City captain Fernandinho take a knee
Image: Manchester United and Manchester City players take a knee before a match last season

Premier League players from all 20 clubs will continue to take a knee during the upcoming 2021-22 season to highlight their opposition to racism.

Players and staff have been taking a knee prior to kick-off in games since June 2020 to show their support for the movement for racial equality.

The decision is "wholeheartedly supported" by the Premier League, with players and match officials wearing 'No Room For Racism' badges on their shirts.

The Premier League players said in a statement: "We feel now, more than ever, it is important for us to continue to take the knee as a symbol of our unity against all forms of racism.

"We remain resolutely committed to our singular objective of eradicating racial prejudice wherever it exists, to bring about a global society of inclusion, respect and equal opportunities for all."

England players were booed by sections of fans when taking the knee in pre-Euro 2020 friendlies but continued with the anti-racism gesture throughout their run to the final.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: "The Premier League, our clubs, players and match officials have a long-standing commitment to tackle racism and all forms of discrimination.

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"Following our club captains' meeting, that collective commitment was reaffirmed and the Premier League will continue to support the players' strong voice on this important issue.

"Racism in any form is unacceptable and No Room For Racism makes our zero-tolerance stance clear. The Premier League will continue to work with our clubs, players and football partners to bring about tangible change to remove inequality from our game."

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha became the first Premier League player to not take a knee before games last season, stating in his view the act is "degrading".

Brentford, who open the new Premier League campaign against Arsenal on August 13, stopped taking a knee before games last season because they felt the gesture no longer had the required impact.

The opening weekend of the Premier League season will be the first time since before the coronavirus pandemic that full crowds have been permitted inside stadiums.

The English Football League has also pledged its support to any player or staff member who wishes to take a knee before games this season.

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