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3rd Aug, 2022

Taking the knee

Our statement on the news that Premier League players are to stop taking the knee before every match.

Tony Burnett, Kick It Out CEO, says: “Taking the knee is a gesture that has been driven by the players. Players have been doing it to highlight the fight for racial equality and for that, it has certainly kept the spotlight on the issues football and wider society still faces.

The purpose of symbols and gestures is to use platforms to highlight to those with power that they need to act. Those gestures and symbols will inevitably change over time.

The point is not the symbols and gestures themselves, but what they signify.  We shouldn’t be talking about whether players kneel. We should be talking about why they kneel. We should be talking about the inequality and discrimination that the gesture highlights. 

Racism and discrimination cannot be allowed to run unchecked through football and accountability is essential in stemming the spread.

Reporting incidents of abuse is the first step in this process. We have to know where and when discrimination happens. This information helps us work with relevant authorities to bring those responsible to justice, and help ensure victims are supported. It also helps us understand the scope of the problem and the organisations we need to work with to make sure events are not repeated.

If you see racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia or discrimination of any kind, report it directly to Kick It Out, and alert your nearest steward or police officer.

Footballers have a platform and can play an important role, but discrimination is a challenge everyone needs to unite against. At Kick It Out we will continue to advocate for and show solidarity with players and fans to help drive change.”