Footballers to no longer take the knee before every Premier League game

Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gestures as he takes a knee with Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne and referee Anthony Taylor before the match as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease

Footballers will no longer take the knee before every Premier League game this season.

Instead, the captains of the league’s 20 clubs have agreed to use specific moments during the campaign to take the knee “to amplify the message that racism has no place in football or society”.

In a statement, the league said: “The Premier League supports the players’ decision and, alongside the clubs, will use these opportunities to elevate anti-racism messaging as part of the League’s No Room for Racism Action Plan.”

Players will take the knee during this weekend’s opening games of the season, at dedicated No Room for Racism matches in October and March, Boxing Day fixtures after the World Cup has finished, the last day of the season and the FA and EFL cup finals.

The Premier League captains said in a statement: “We have decided to select significant moments to take the knee during the season to highlight our unity against all forms of racism and in so doing we continue to show solidarity for a common cause.

“We remain resolutely committed to eradicate racial prejudice, and to bring about an inclusive society with respect and equal opportunities for all.”

Players and staff at Premier League clubs began taking the knee prior to kick-off in games in June 2020 to show their support for the movement for racial equality.

The decision was supported by the Premier League, with players and match officials wearing ‘No Room For Racism’ badges on their shirts.

The clubs began making the gesture in support of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd in the US in May 2020.

It was inspired by NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who took the knee during the US national anthem in protest against racism.

A total of £238,000 will be donated to youth clubs on behalf of the club captains after £119,000 was raised from the royalties of the badges sold on club shirts last season, with the Premier League matching the amount.

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