support the players and show respect

Since the death of George Floyd in May this year, football squads across the country have taken a knee for a few seconds at the start of matches to show their support for the principles of equality enshrined in the Black Lives Matter campaign. These moments of respect and protest against racist abuse have been well publicised and impeccably observed by all clubs. However, no sooner were supporters allowed to return to matches than a few decided it was their place, right and opportunity to boo.

Colchester United’s Chairman took the time to provide historical context and explanation to inform all readers (with notable and commendable input from Callum Harriot) of the background to the taking of a knee, followed by giving his unwavering support for the continued protest:

“Those that take the knee want to highlight that all lives should be valued and should not be treated inhumanely or inferior to others just because of their race. It is undeniable that black and other ethnic minority people are still the victims of racism, and the black footballers and staff at Colchester United feel that they are in a position of privilege that has been fought for through the blood and sweat of their ancestors.”

He took aim at those who booed and made it clear they were not welcome to return.

The media spotlight fell on Millwall’s midweek match with QPR. The Hoops’ players took a knee while Millwall’s team stood respectfully by and the fans applauded both.

The position of Charlton Athletic Football Club and its community at the forefront of the fight against discrimination of all kinds is something to be extremely proud of and we were delighted to hear Thomas Sandgaard champion this anti-discrimination principle.

Those of us lucky enough to be attending Saturday’s match against Wimbledon will be vocal in supporting the team and will take full advantage of our privileged opportunity to support the players from both sides should they decide to take the knee to show respect.

CAST member Colm Hickey wrote the following article on the subject this week:

CT Sport & Politics 9.12.20.