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Celtic and Rangers make stand against racism before derby kick off

Players from both sides decided not to take a knee before the Old Firm game.

Celtic and Rangers make stand against racism before derby kick off SNS Group
Players stood in silence for a moment before the game started.

Celtic and Rangers players didn’t take the knee before kick off in the Old Firm derby, choosing to stand instead as a message against racism.

Clubs across the country have been taking the knee this season in a move designed to draw attention to the issue of racism.

Following the incident at Ibrox on Thursday, when Slavia Prague player Ondrej Kudela allegedly racially abused Rangers player Glen Kamara, and a number of players were targeted with abuse on social media, some players have questioned the value of taking a knee, saying it has become an empty gesture.

Players at Motherwell and Dundee United, among others, declined to take a knee on Saturday and Rangers and Celtic players did the same in the moments before kick off in the high profile Old Firm derby on Sunday.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard revealed that his captain James Tavernier and vice-captain Connor Goldson had approached him to tell him the players’ intent, and that he fully backed them.

“We won’t take the knee,” he told Sky Sports. “I spoke to both captains yesterday and they made a collective decision that they’re going to stand. Stand side by side and we’ll support that and follow suit as a staff as well.

“I wasn’t aware of the chat the players have had amongst themselves but James and Connor come to see me yesterday and I totally understand the decision they’ve made and totally back it 100 percent. We’ll do the same as a staff to show them the support.”

Celtic interim boss John Kennedy confirmed pre-match that his players had taken the same decision.

As players were warming up on the pitch pre-match, Celtic captain Scott Brown crossed to the Rangers half to embrace Kamara in a show of support.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 21: Celtic captain Scott Brown (left) embraces Rangers' Glen Kamara pre match during the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park, on March 21, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)SNS Group
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MARCH 21: Celtic captain Scott Brown (left) embraces Rangers’ Glen Kamara pre match during the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park, on March 21, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)