Millwall to DITCH knee after fans' booing shame as club plan alternative anti-racism protest against QPR
MILLWALL players will stand arm-in-arm with QPR tonight in a “show of solidarity for football’s fight against discrimination”.
The FA have launched a probe after Lions fans booed players who took a knee before Saturday’s home defeat to Derby.
So in an effort to avoid a repeat and unite their supporters in the fight against racism, the club will now stage an alternative anti-racism protest at The Den.
The teams will hold aloft a banner calling for an end to all forms of discrimination and — for one game only — the Lions will replace their sponsors with the Kick It Out logo on the front of their shirts.
It follows talks with Show Racism The Red Card, the PFA, FA and EFL yesterday.
Opponents QPR agreed to take part the new protest – despite having earlier announced they would be taking the knee.
A number of Hoops stars still intend to take the knee and Millwall have called upon fans inside the stadium to respect this.
The South London club’s fans were widely critcised for booing players for doing so against the Rams.
But the Lions hope these new measures will appease their followers – many of whom oppose Black Lives Matter because of its political views.
Millwall believe this alternative protest will allow their crowd to show they are against racism.
The club added: “Millwall’s stance, as always, is that anybody found guilty of racial abuse is banned for life.”
Millwall also intend to become the first to launch an in-house audit of employees in a bid to improve diversity.
QPR stopped taking the knee as a team at the start of the season, with director of football Les Ferdinand suggesting its impact had become “little more than good PR”.
Speaking before last night’s decision that players would link arms, Hoops boss Mark Warburton revealed his players had decided on a U-turn over taking the knee.
He said: “We stand as a club against any form of discrimination.
“We felt kneeling had run its course but in light of recent events, were we to pay individual thoughts, it might be perceived incorrectly and we don’t want that to happen.
“The players understand that and came to me, I had to agree with them.
“So we will take the knee in this game. It’s not about token gestures — but positive action. We will show solidarity because we will not tolerate discrimination.”
The FA confirmed they are investigating incidents at Millwall, as well as Colchester’s League One match against Grimsby. Teams have until Thursday to respond.
Despite widespread fury, the FA may struggle to find any rules which have been broken and which would allow them to consider action.
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