Brentford players will take a knee before matches this season but Ivan Toney will continue to stand

Brentford statement: "We believe that in the upcoming season the collective cause of tackling discrimination and racism will be best served by acting in unison and solidarity with all our fellow Premier League teams"

Brentford

Brentford have reversed their decision not to take a knee before matches this season but striker Ivan Toney will continue to stand before kick-off.

The Brentford players released a statement in February revealing that they were to stop taking a knee before their games as they believed the gesture was "no longer having an impact" in the fight against racism and discrimination in football.

Wilfried Zaha also stopped taking part in the gesture last season, with the Crystal Palace forward urging players to "stand tall", and reiterated his view that taking a knee was "degrading".

Wilfried Zaha opts against taking a knee ahead of Crystal Palace's Premier League clash with Everton. (Darren Staples/Sportimage via AP Images)
Image: Wilfried Zaha opts against taking a knee ahead of Crystal Palace's Premier League clash with Everton

However, after a statement released on behalf of Premier League players on Tuesday confirmed the gesture would continue this term, the newly-promoted club have said that tackling discrimination and racism will be best served by acting in unison and solidarity.

"Brentford FC can confirm that our players will take the knee before all first-team matches in the coming season," a club statement said.

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"Our players and staff held meetings to discuss whether or not to take the knee at kick-off, having not done so since February. We believe that in the upcoming season the collective cause of tackling discrimination and racism will be best served by acting in unison and solidarity with all our fellow Premier League teams, as was outlined in a statement from the Premier League yesterday.

"Taking the knee will not on its own solve the problem of racism but it will continue to draw attention to the discrimination that exists within football, as well as society generally. We all saw the support that the act of taking the knee received from fans before matches during Euro 2020.

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Ivan Toney previously told Sky Sports News players are being 'used as puppets' in taking a knee
Image: Ivan Toney previously told Sky Sports News players are being 'used as puppets' in taking a knee

"With fans now back at stadiums for the upcoming season we want to play our part in keeping the fight against discrimination at the forefront of the agenda."

However, Brentford also confirmed that Ivan Toney would prefer not to take a knee and will continue to make his own personal statement before matches - a decision they say they fully respect.

"The club respects the rights of all individuals to show their opposition to discrimination and racism in whichever way they feel is most appropriate to them," the statement added.

"During our meetings to discuss these issues, Ivan Toney told us that he would prefer not to take the knee and will continue to make his own personal statement before matches this season. Brentford FC stands fully behind Ivan's decision and will continue to support him in any way we can."

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