Premier League players to limit taking the knee before games

Premier League players will stop the pre-match gesture of taking the knee before every match

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Captains and players are said to believe that "less is more", meaning the gesture will only be seen before certain games.

In support of the Black Lives Matter movement, top-flight clubs started taking the knee after George Floyd's murder in May 2020.

Captains from the Premier League's 20 clubs took the decision after consulting with players.

Players will now take the knee before certain rounds of games, including the Boxing Day fixtures and Cup finals.

England footballers taking the knee
England footballers taking the knee
Premier League
Premier League

The gesture will also be made before the first and last matches of the 2022-23 campaign.

In a collective statement, the top-flight captains said: "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."

A Premier League statement adds: "Ahead of the new season, Premier League club captains have reaffirmed their commitment to fighting racism and all forms of discrimination.

"The players have decided to use specific moments during the upcoming campaign to take the knee, to amplify the message that racism has no place in football or society.

"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 the opening match round of the season, dedicated No Room for Racism match rounds in October and March, Boxing Day fixtures following the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Premier League matches on the final day of the season and The FA Cup and EFL Cup Finals."

Taking the knee was started by US NFL star Colin Kaepernick, who used it as a silent protest during the country's national anthem.

In February 2021, Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha stopped taking the knee.

At the time, he said: "It doesn't matter whether we kneel or stand, some of us still continue to receive abuse."

Several Championship clubs also stopped making the gesture at this time.