Players will continue to take the knee until the end of the season, says Premier League chief Masters



The league will review the need for the demonstrations again at the end of the campaign

Premier League CEO Richard Masters says players will continue to kneel in protest against racism before matches until at least the end of the season.

Players and officials have been kneeling before kick off since last season following the death of George Floyd in the United States.

Masters says the league will discuss extending the anti-racism demonstrations ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

What has been said?  

“It is a big statement, it was player-led. We spent a lot of time talking to players. It was an emotional time during the pandemic,” Masters told Sky Sports.

“Going back to Project Restart, when we were talking to players, they wanted to make a statement about their thanks to the NHS and key workers and to make a stand against the events in America last summer.

“We were happy to support the players. Perhaps for the first time, we had the Premier League, clubs and players on the same page on an important issue.

“Anti-discrimination is something we are really committed to. Last week we announced our ‘No Room for Racism’ action plan. Unfortunately, we have had to take on the social media companies with regards to online abuse.

“You will see for the rest of this season more anti-racism messages on player’s shirts and the continuation of taking the knee until the end of the season.

“It has never been an instruction, it has always been a personal choice. We have had remarkable unanimity up to this point and I expect that to continue.

“We will discuss with the players in the close season what we are going to do to continue to make our feelings clear about anti-discrimination messaging going forward.”

Why do players take a knee?

Premier League players began taking a knee before matches in a show of solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters in the United States.

Protests erupted across the world after George Floyd died while he was being arrested in Minneaopolis in May last year.

The incident occurred during the Premier League’s three-month suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic but the anti-discrimination demonstrations began once play started again.

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