Why did the English Premier League set limits on the movement of sitting on half a knee?  |  DW |  04.08.2022

Why did the English Premier League set limits on the movement of sitting on half a knee? | DW | 04.08.2022

The half-knee movement before the start of the Premier League football matches will not become a routine matter before every match, but the anti-racism gesture will be allowed on stadiums during certain moments during the season.

Premier League club leaders met last week to discuss whether they would continue the movement that was launched in 2020 during an American rugby match in support of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which emerged after the death of American citizen George Floyd in the United States at the hands of the police.

During the meeting, opinions varied, with some team leaders speaking on behalf of their colleagues and remarking that the gesture had lost its power and might even become divisive. Some spoke of the movement having political connotations, although its goal has been made clear to everyone, which is to highlight the need for greater equality and the rejection of racial discrimination, according to what was published by the British newspaper, The Guardian.

The gesture is inspired by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other American athletes, who followed him by quite a few players who took a half-knee before games or while playing the national anthem, to be widely adopted in tournaments and sports in Europe and other places. other.

The gesture is inspired by former NFL star Colin Kaepernick

The Premier League players continued to perform the action before each match, and players did the same in many matches in England’s lower division leagues.

The decision to limit the number of times the blocking move came after a number of black players began dismissing its performance as an “empty gesture” that would do little to make real change.

For example, Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, who grew up in England but plays for the Ivory Coast national team, stopped performing the movement in early 2021. The player said the protest movement “has become part of the pre-match routine”, according to the newspaper. American New York Times.

While the team leaders did not reach consensus last week, they did so at their last meeting, as the clubs agreed that this movement would be allowed to be performed during the first and last rounds of matches, and the anti-racism rounds in October and March, and a number of specific occasions with the aim of communicating a message that Racism and any form of discrimination has no place in football or society.

The Premier League Players’ Association said: “We have decided to select key moments for the movement’s performance during the season to highlight our unity against all forms of racism, and in doing so continue to demonstrate solidarity for a common cause. We remain firmly committed to eliminating racial prejudice and creating an inclusive society that respects equal opportunity for all.” .

Kick It Out CEO Tony Burnett said: “We support the players in whatever they decide, but we want to make sure we move forward. The reasons that prompted the players to make that move, because these problems have not disappeared until now.”

Emad Hassan

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