June 18, 2024
Fans at Millwall boo players taking a knee on return to stadium

Fans at Millwall boo players taking a knee on return to stadium

Up to 2,000 supporters are permitted in football stadiums in some areas of England as part of new government measures introduced this week, the first time fans have been allowed to attend games since the coronavirus outbreak.

In footage on social media, fans at The Den, Millwall’s home ground in southeast London, can be heard booing as players from both sides take a knee before kick-off.

Across English football, players have been taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and to protest against racism and discrimination following the death of George Floyd earlier this year.

Millwall players kneel before their side's game against Derby County.
All Premier League clubs have continued to kneel before games this season, while some teams in the English Football League, the second, third and fourth tiers of English football, stopped at the start of this season.
On Friday, Millwall issued a statement reaffirming the club’s stance on players taking a knee.

“As a squad we are fully supportive of the entire football family’s efforts in ridding the sport, and society generally, of all forms of discrimination,” the statement said. “It is our duty as players to reinforce the positive messaging and action of clubs, community trusts, charities and governing bodies, and we do so with great pride and knowledge that so much good work is being done up and down the country.”

Sanjay Bhandari, chairman of anti-racism group Kick It Out, said the organization is “saddened” by the booing of players taking a knee at Millwall.

“What this demonstrates is that players are right to continue standing up to discrimination, whether that is through taking the knee or speaking out,” he said. “The fight for racial equality continues and we will continue to work closely with clubs across the country to tackle discrimination in all its forms.”

Derby celebrates scoring against Millwall.

Saturday’s game ended 1-0 in favor of Derby, the Rams’ second league victory of the season.

CNN has contacted Millwall for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

In a statement, the English Football Association said it “supports all players and staff that wish to take a stand against discrimination in a respectful manner, which includes taking of the knee, and strongly condemns the behaviors of any spectators that actively voice their opposition to such activities.”